Corn growers complain about EPA’s new renewable fuels standards

Corn growers are unhappy with the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement to increase the minimum requirements for renewable fuels beginning in 2020.

The National Corn Growers Association accused the EPA of making changes to help refineries rather than corn growers. And it complained the EPA failed to account for lost volumes due to refinery exemptions.

“We are frustrated the EPA did not account for potential waived gallons going forward in the proposed rule,” said National Corn Growers Association President and Nebraska farmer Lynn Chrisp. “If the EPA continues to grant retroactive waivers, the RVO numbers are meaningless and the EPA is not following the law. Farmers are facing a very tough economic environment and the continued waiver abuse chips away at farmers’ bottom line.”

In making the announcement, the EPA released a proposed Renewable Volume Obligation rule for next year.

Since early 2018, the EPA has granted 53 RFS exemptions totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. There are currently 38 pending petitions for 2018.

The Corn Growers Association also charged that the  EPA filed to uphold the D.C. Circuit Court’s ruling in 2017 that required the agency to account for 500 million gallons improperly waived in 2016.

“There is no reason for the EPA to not account for those gallons,” Chrisp added. “It appears the EPA continues to favor big oil and not uphold the RFS. This narrative is getting old. It is time for the EPA to follow the law to ensure the waivers do not destroy volume requirements.”

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