The corn and ethanol industries are anxiously awaiting an announcement that could come soon from the Environmental Protection Agency that might reduce the biofuels mandate in the Renewable Fuel Standard. Bob Dinneen of the Renewable Fuels Association says such an announcement would come at a time when the U.S. needs to be maximizing use of biofuels.
“We are looking to expand biofuels use into new technologies, new feedstocks, whether it’s corn stover or corn cobs, or municipal solid waste,” he explained. “Now is not the time to be limiting the market for these fuels. EPA you have to stop. Don’t break your promise to the American farmer.”
Futures market analysts have called the expected announcement a cloud over the corn market. Dinneen says we may know more soon.
“I think that the proposal comes out in the next day or two and I think that there will then be a 30-60 day comment period. I hope that farmers across the country rise up and tell EPA, hey we planted 93 million acres to corn in anticipation of a growing marketplace, not an artificially constrained one. We are harvesting 14 billion bushels of corn today with the expectation that we’re going to be able to sell to a growing marketplace.”
He told HAT an RFS rollback puts the rollout of EPA approved E15, a higher blend of ethanol in gas, at serious risk.
“Well it sort of tells marketers that we don’t have to blend E15, that we can just continue on as we have blending E10 and that’s going to be the cap on biofuels use in this country. That’s not what the RFS was intended to do. The RFS was intended to drive innovation in ethanol production.”
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will be visiting Indiana Saturday.