The following is a statement from Chip Bowling, Maryland farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association, in response to Friday’s EPA announcement related to the Renewable Fuel Standard:
“Today’s announcement by EPA shows the Administration recognizes the proposed rule was inherently flawed and based on an unworkable methodology. We will continue to work with EPA to ensure that the 2014 and 2015 renewable fuel requirements are consistent with what Congress set forth in the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“Congress created the RFS to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to provide cleaner fuel choices for consumers. We will continue working to defend the interests of corn farmers and consumers by holding EPA accountable for implementing the law as enacted by Congress.
“Corn farmers have produced a second record crop in two years-resulting in corn prices that have fallen below the cost of production in many parts of the country. Our members have been frustrated by the uncertainty and delays surrounding the RFS. When the time came for them to speak up, they did so – loudly and forcefully. Our growers and allies sent the EPA a clear signal when this proposal was first issued, with nearly 200,000 people responding to the public comment opportunity in opposition to the reduction. Nearly 10,000 farmers called the White House directly. We have never before seen so much grassroots interest in a particular issue. Our farmers will continue to raise our voices as necessary in defense of this important policy.”
In response to the announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency, American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser highlighted soybean farmer concerns with EPA’s inaction on the issue.
“The continued delays create great uncertainty for the biodiesel industry and soybean farmers and limits the industry’s ability to invest and expand,” said Gaesser. “The Proposed Rule was unacceptable and would have taken biodiesel backward from the amounts produced and utilized in 2013. However, ASA believes that EPA can and should finalize a 2014 rule that sets the biomass-based diesel volumes at or above the nearly 1.8 billion gallons that were produced and consumed in the U.S. in 2013.” ASA will continue to work with the National Biodiesel Board and industry partners to secure appropriate and beneficial biodiesel RFS volume requirements from EPA and the Administration.”
In making the announcement, EPA noted that it would take action in 2015 prior to or combined with the rulemaking for the 2015 RVO standards.