The top leadership of the National Corn Growers Association was well represented at today’s field hearing regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to reduce the volume of ethanol in the Renewable Fuel Standard.
NCGA President Chip Bowling of Maryland and Chairman Martin Barbre joined scores of farmers and others on-hand in Kansas City, Kan., to speak of the importance of domestic, renewable fuels to the nation. The EPA’s proposal would cut nearly 4 billion gallons of ethanol from the RFS through 2016, representing nearly a billion and a half bushels in lost corn demand.
“We simply cannot afford — and will not tolerate — efforts to cut the demand for corn, and that’s exactly what your proposal will do,” Bowling told the EPA. “We cannot let this stand. We’ve done our part, and our allies in the ethanol industry have done their part. It’s time the EPA sided with those of us supporting a domestic, renewable fuel that’s better for the environment.”
Bowling ended his testimony telling the group that farmers were watching and would continue to speak out.
“We have never before seen so much grassroots interest in a particular issue,” he said. “The many who came here today had to set aside important work back home, with delayed planting or other important field work. They are here because they know what’s at stake.”
In his testimony, Barbre spotlighted the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard and questioned the EPA’s methodology.
“Until the EPA proposed changes to the renewable volume obligation for 2014, the RFS was doing exactly what it was intended to do — driving adoption of domestic renewable fuel alternatives to petroleum, supporting jobs across the country, and ensuring the United States remains a global leader in developing new renewable energy sources while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions here at home,” he said. “The EPA’s proposal threatens these outcomes. At the same time, we are extremely concerned about the methodology behind EPA’s decision. The EPA only has the authority to issue a waiver when reviewing the RVOs if either the RFS would cause ‘severe economic harm’ to the economy or the environment, or if there is an inadequate domestic supply.”