Corn Growers, NFU, Growth Energy submit RFS comments

Source: By Jerry Hagstrom, DTN/Progressive farmer • Posted: Monday, August 20, 2018

On the last day that the Environmental Protection Agency is accepting comments on the volumetric requirements for the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2019, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Farmers Union and Growth Energy, a renewable fuels lobby group,  urged EPA to make sure that at least the full 15 billion gallon volume for conventional ethanol will be used next year.

“The rule proposes an implied 15-billion-gallon volume for conventional ethanol but fails to account for, nor consider comments on, retroactive exemptions granted to refineries,” NCGA said in a news release.

“To uphold the full clean air, cost-savings, energy independence, and rural economic benefits consumers and farmers receive from the RFS, EPA must also use the 2019 volume rule to make and keep the RFS whole,” NCGA President and North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes said.

NCGA noted that EPA disclosed the agency granted retroactive exemptions to 48 refineries for 2016 and 2017 RFS obligations, amounting to 2.25 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons, but stated the agency is not soliciting comments on how to account for exemptions going forward to prevent exemptions from lowering RFS volumes.

“While EPA may not want feedback on how the agency is failing to maintain the integrity of the RFS and administer the volume standards in accordance with the law, corn farmers will provide that feedback nonetheless and make our voices heard,” NCGA’s comments state.

“The process for accounting for these volumes is central to the integrity of the RFS, and it is offensive to farmers that EPA does not believe our comments on this issue are worth soliciting and considering.”