Durbin Meets With Illinois Corn Growers And Illinois Soybean Association

The impact on Illinois farmers of the Renewable Fuel Standard and lifting the Cuban trade embargo top meeting agendas

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with members of the Illinois Corn Growers and the Illinois Soybean Association to discuss the impact of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) delay in setting production levels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2014, increased opportunities for Illinois farmers associated with opening trade with Cuba, and other agricultural priorities. Photos of Durbin’s meeting with the Illinois Corn Growers and the Illinois Soybean Association will be available shortly here.


“Illinois’ economy begins on the farm,” Durbin said. “Today, I was pleased to meet with members from two of Illinois’ largest farming organizations: the Illinois Corn Growers and the Illinois Soybean Association. As we head into another planting season, I look forward to working with them on identifying opportunities for growth in Illinois’ agricultural industry, from establishing a strong Renewable Fuel Standard to normalizing trade relations with Cuba.”


In November 2014, the EPA announced that it would not be finalizing the volume standards under the RFS program before the end of 2014. The EPA has indicated it intends to take action on the 2014 standards rule in 2015. Durbin’s statement on the EPA’s announcement is available here.

In February 2015, Durbin joined a bipartisan group of 32 Senators in pressing the EPA to live up to its legal obligation to provide certainty to the biofuels industry and the thousands of workers it employs by setting long-delayed production standards. Since the EPA first announced a proposed change to the volume standards under the RFS program in late 2013, Durbin has worked with members of Illinois’ agriculture community and biofuels industry to evaluate the potential impact of the proposed waiver, and to develop a better alternative.

Last month, Durbin also announced bipartisan legislation to lift the Cuban trade embargo and eliminate the legal barriers to Americans doing business in Cuba. The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act will pave the way for new economic opportunities for American businesses and farmers by boosting U.S. exports and allow Cubans greater access to American goods.