The CEO of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today pushed back against commentary made by a science advisory board to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that questioned the effectiveness of ethanol in lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The NCGA leader's comments were made during a public meeting held by the SAB.
“There is no shortage of studies on the environmental benefits of corn ethanol,” NCGA CEO Neil Caskey told the advisory board members. “The Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, for example, has conducted extensive research on the matter and concluded that corn ethanol has reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by 544 million metric tons from 2005- 2019, and that the feedstock’s carbon intensity is 44% lower than that of petroleum gasoline.”
The testimony comes after the SAB provided commentary to the EPA administrator raising doubts about the effectiveness of ethanol.
The SAB is comprised of experts representing a range of fields who make regular recommendations to EPA leaders. Caskey recently sent a letter to the EPA administrator challenging the commentary.
Caskey also responded to assertions by the SAB that the production of ethanol impacts land use, noting that the data show that as corn production has risen, land used to grow corn has not.
“American farmers planted an estimated 94.1 million acres of corn in 2023, which falls short of the more than 100 million acres corn farmers planted a century ago,” Caskey noted. “In the past decade, U.S. corn production has been over six times the production of the 1930s with fewer corn acres.”
The testimony is the latest in a series of actions NCGA has taken to defend and promote ethanol. The organization has also been encouraging the Biden administration to take the necessary steps to ensure that the aviation sector is able to use the important biofuel.