Hagedorn: People over politics

To the editor:

As a farmer with a vested interest in ethanol, I’d like to express my appreciation to Congressman Jim Hagedorn for his fight on behalf of farmers and ethanol producers.

For the past several years, the EPA has failed to follow Congressional mandates in awarding refinery exemptions to ethanol fuel blending. The billions of gallons of lost ethanol production caused by these exemptions has created tremendous economic hardship for farmers and ethanol producers who built business plans based on those promises.

Congressman Hagedorn has used his seat on the Agriculture Committee to work with Representatives from both parties to insist the EPA follow Congress’s intent when they issue these refinery exemptions. He cosponsored Democrat Colin Peterson’s bill to increase transparency in the refinery exemption process and joined a bipartisan group of signatories on Democrat Cindy Axne’s letter to the EPA regarding the abuse in issuing small refinery exemptions.

In October, when the EPA backtracked on an agreement with the Dept. of Agriculture, Rep. Hagedorn again joined a bipartisan group of legislators led by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) in signing a letter to the EPA requesting that they honor the original agreement. He also joined Democrats and Republicans in cosponsoring Rep. Davis’s bill requiring the EPA to include exempted ethanol gallons in their calculations of mandated ethanol.

And again today, he wrote directly to EPA Secretary Wheeler insisting the EPA follow the intent of Congress.

In other words, in what can only be described as a toxic political atmosphere in Washington, Congressman Hagedorn has reached-out to work with people regardless of their political affiliation to get things done for the folks back home. That’s far too rare these days and I thank Congressman Hagedorn for putting people over politics.

Greg Bartz

Sleepy Eye


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