(Posted Wed. Apr 4th, 2018)
The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on a letter NCGA and 22 state corn associations sent to the EPA regarding the recent small refinery exemptions from RFS volume obligations.
“Today the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) along with state corn grower associations, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on the small refinery exemptions being granted, allowing refineries to avoid meeting their RFS volume obligations.
“EPA continues to take actions that undermine the RFS and contradict President Trump’s commitments to America’s corn farmers. EPA is clearly overstepping its bounds, and we ask Administrator Pruitt to stop granting these waivers and damaging the RFS behind closed doors.
“Yesterday, EPA reportedly granted exemptions to one of the nation’s largest refiners, Andeavor, which posted net profits of $1.5 billion in 2017. This improper application of the small refinery hardship exemption is yet another example of EPA actions that destroy demand for ethanol and corn.
“EPA reportedly has more than 30 petitions under consideration, and up to 25 waivers may have been handed out in secrecy last year. Granting this number of exemptions would remove a significant amount of renewable fuel gallons from the RFS volume requirement. This would have a direct impact on corn demand and corn prices at a time when net farm income has already decreased more than 50 percent over the past four years.
“EPA needs to stop granting these waivers and fully weigh the impact of these decisions on rural communities and America’s corn farmers.”