The pressure is on as the new year approaches, and corn producers are felling it. The announcement of a new, much-lower, standard for renewable fuel use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has affected groups rallying around the cause. The National Corn Growers Association is a leader in the effort to help EPA understand the importance of the RFS.
In a statement issued late last week, the group is "calling on all its members and friends to submit comments to [EPA], opposing its proposal to slash the amount of corn ethanol required in the Renewable Fuel Standard."
Says Martin Barbre, NCGA president: "It's critical that our growers and all those concerned about the rural economy stand up for corn ethanol and urge EPA to keep the volume obligations as they are now written in the law. The impacts of the EPA's proposal, if enacted, will ripple throughout communities where America's family farmers live, shop and do business."
In that proposed new RFS, EPA is proposing a 1.4 billion gallon reduction in how much corn ethanol will be required. The RFS is a federal law that requires the blending of "domestic, renewable, cleaner-burning corn ethanol in the nation's fuel supply," according to an NCGA statement.
The concern is that the significant drop in ethanol use would shrink corn demand further, and hit prices even harder than they've already been hit. Corn prices are off nearly 40% from the most recent drought-induced highs seen in late 2012.
The group notes that the lower corn ethanol requirement will also "reduce the environmental benefits of using more domestic, renewable biofuels."
If you want to comment on the measure - and comments are due by Jan. 28 - you will find resources on a special page at the NCGA website, including links to make public comments and other background information on the biofuel.
More RFS Links:
Governors Keep Pressure on Obama Administration Over RFS
Ethanol Interests Reflect on Six Years of the RFS
Proposed RFS Changes Weighed at EPA Hearing