The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) sent a letter this week to the Environmental Protection Agency addressing recent concerns raised by the agency’s scientific advisory board about the environmental benefits of ethanol.
In a letter sent to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on Thursday, NCGA CEO Neil Caskey noted that the research shows unequivocally that ethanol is important to addressing climate change.
“There are no shortage of studies on the environmental benefits of corn ethanol,” Caskey said. “The Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, for example, has conducted extensive research on the matter and concluded that corn ethanol has reduced GHG emissions in the U.S. by 544 million metric tons from 2005- 2019 and that the feedstock’s carbon intensity is 44 percent lower than that of petroleum gasoline.”
The letter was sent after EPA’s scientific advisory board submitted draft commentary on the Volume Requirements for 2023 and Beyond under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program. In the commentary, the advisory board questions ethanol’s ability to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and raises concerns that the production of ethanol increases land use.
The letter noted that corn growers are doing more with less land.
“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.”
Caskey also highlighted ethanol’s importance in advancing the Biden administration’s climate agenda.
“It is important to note that any decision that hampers the use of these environmentally friendly products would complicate President Biden’s ambitious climate goals, which will almost certainly require the use of biofuels, such as corn ethanol, to be successful,” he said.
Caskey will provide verbal remarks before the SAB later this month.