Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  U.S. Senator John Thune continues to fight to get an increased Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) added to the farm bill currently being debated in the U.S. Senate. Senator Thune and U.S. Senators Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Ken Salazar (D-CO) have joined forces to amend the farm bill to include the RFS, which significantly increases the demand for ethanol.

"The continued growth of the ethanol industry is critical to South Dakota farmers and to reducing this nation's dependence on foreign energy. It is absolutely crucial that Congress find a legislative vehicle to pass an RFS as soon as possible. With the Energy Bill at risk of not making it through Congress or being vetoed, it is very important that we include the RFS in the Farm Bill to ensure that the RFS becomes law. It is important to have a plan B," said Thune.

One of the nation's largest ethanol producers, South Dakota-based POET, supports this effort.

"POET understands the significance of this legislation, regardless of whether it's accomplished in the energy bill or farm bill. We continue to strongly support Senator Thune's efforts in passing this bill and thank him for his leadership," said Rob Skjonsberg, Vice-President of Government Affairs at POET.

The South Dakota Corn Growers Association also supports adding the RFS to the farm bill.

"South Dakota has benefited enormously from our ethanol industry, which has a $2 billion impact on South Dakota's economy. The South Dakota Corn Growers Association champions Senator Thune's efforts to promote the continued growth of ethanol through an expansion of the RFS. Thune's vision of including an RFS in the farm bill is an important failsafe mechanism that will ensure our 12 thousand corn producers have a market for the 5 billion bushels of corn they grow and that the ethanol industry in South Dakota will continue to grow," said Reid Jensen, President of the South Dakota Corn Growers.

U.S. ethanol production capacity will total 7.5 billion gallons by the end of 2007, four years ahead of the current RFS schedule of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012. Senator Thune's Farm Bill amendment would expand the RFS to 8.5 billion gallons in 2008 and would increase the RFS to 36 billion gallons by 2022.