(Posted Fri. Jun 10th, 2016)
National Corn Growers Association leaders joined farmers and biofuel advocates from across the country Thursday at a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) field hearing on proposed 2017 renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). They urged the EPA to follow the law and make more ethanol available to consumers in next year’s fuel supply.
Chip Bowling, a farmer from Newburg, Maryland, and president of the National Corn Growers Association, highlighted the investment in fuel infrastructure over the past year in partnership with USDA’s Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership.
“NCGA and our state corn associations helped match [USDA] funds, making an overall investment totaling more than $200 million. These are real dollars going toward real investments to help provide consumers a more affordable and cleaner fuel option at the pump,” said Bowling.
“The EPA and this Administration made a pledge to the American people to become energy independent by developing American-based energy sources such as corn ethanol. Farmers responded by growing enough corn for all of our needs. Businesses responded by investing in production infrastructure across rural America. As a result of these government promises and private efforts, the U.S. is able to sustain a prosperous renewable fuels industry. Now it’s up to EPA to deliver on its promises.”
NCGA Chairman Martin Barbre, a farmer from Carmi, Illinois, noted that the RFS was a successful policy when EPA first began proposing changes in 2014.
“Until the EPA proposed changes to the renewable volume obligation for 2014, the RFS was doing exactly what it was intended to do: driving the adoption of domestic renewable alternatives to petroleum, supporting jobs across the country, ensuring the United States remains a global leader in developing renewable energy sources and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions here at home. The EPA’s proposal threatens these outcomes,” said Barbre.
Also testifying at the hearing were Nebraska Governor Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, Missouri Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce, Crappie Masters TV co-host Brian Sowers, former Iowa State Rep. Annette Sweeney, and farmer-leaders from a dozen state corn grower associations. All told, more than 100 people testified in support of raising the volume of ethanol and other renewable fuels.
Supporters are urged to submit comments to the EPA at ncga.com/rfs. The deadline is July 11.