Remember ag, rural America in climate change and economic stimulus decisions, Kansas co-op leader says
Leaders of CHS Inc., the nation's largest producer-owned cooperative, urged members of Congress to keep the needs of rural America and agriculture in mind as they craft programs to boost the nation's economy and address global climate change.
"This is a time of unprecedented critical and complex decision making for Congress," said Steve Riegel of Ford, Kan., who represents CHS members in Kansas and five other south central U.S. states. "As our U.S. senators and representatives consider these issues, it's essential that they have a clear understanding of the needs of rural America and the vital agriculture sector."
Riegel was among the 17 CHS directors, all full-time farmers and ranchers, who visited nearly 100 congressional offices during their annual week on Capitol Hill in mid-March. The CHS board members called on Congress to:
Take into account the needs of small, independent and cooperatively owned refiners when developing programs to address climate change through the implementation of carbon credit programs. CHS advocates seeking an alternative to the credit auction system, eliminating requirements that refiners account for the greenhouse gases produced in every fuel gallon they refine and seek assistance/incentives to help small business refiners, especially refiner co-ops, move towards compliance.
Ensure that rural America and agriculture are treated fairly in the implementation of economic stimulus programs including fully budgeting appropriate funding for essential projects such as improvements for the nation's locks, dams and inland waterways and requirements that states report their plans for, allocation of and use of funds specifically for rural regions.
In addition to congressional offices, the CHS directors also visited the European Union, Swiss and Ukraine embassies for discussions on issues affecting the cooperative's international operations. The CHS Europe office is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and the company began originating grain from Ukraine in 2008.
During a CHS dinner for agriculture and energy organization leaders, C. Boyden Gray, former special envoy for Eurasian energy diplomacy and special envoy for European Union affairs discussed the outlook and implications for refiners and agriculture of global climate change policy.
CHS Inc. (www.chsinc.com) is a diversified energy, grains and foods company committed to providing the essential resources that enrich lives around the world. A Fortune 200 company, CHS is owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives, along with thousands of preferred stockholders across the United States. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain, livestock feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products. CHS is listed on the NASDAQ at CHSCP.