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Iowa Corn Growers Association Criticizes EPA Announcement on the Renewable Fuels Standard

May 29, 2015

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2014, 2015, and 2016 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). RVOs are set annually by EPA to dictate the amount of renewable fuel that is blended into the motor fuel supply.  The 2014 and 2015 RVOs have been significantly delayed in their release.

“While at face value the numbers might appear to be an improvement over the proposal released back in 2013, this new rule still doesn’t meet the requirements Congress set in statute. It also continues to use a flawed methodology which is almost more damaging than the RVO numbers themselves,” said Jerry Mohr, a farmer from Eldridge and President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA). 

“Now is a critical time for farmers to step up and engage on this issue that will significantly impact our farms since the rule won’t be finalized until this fall. Unfortunately, so far, the EPA continues to fail our farmers and consumers to side with Big Oil.”

The current RFS statute requires 14.4 billion gallons of conventional corn-based ethanol be blended in 2014 and 15.0 billion gallons be blended in 2015 and 2016. For 2014, the rule proposes 13.25 billion, for 2015 13.4 billion, and in 2016, the proposed rule will provide 14 billion gallons. This means over three years 3.75 billion gallons less of corn-based ethanol will be used, reducing corn demand by 1.3 billion bushels.   

“The Iowa Corn Growers Association is extremely concerned about the impacts the proposal will have on the corn industry and rural economies,” says Mohr. “We have the largest corn carryover stocks since 2005, prices are below the cost of production, and so far, it appears we will grow stocks even larger with the current ideal growing conditions.”

This will negatively impact the agricultural economy by:

  • Negatively impacting economies of rural communities at a time when corn prices are already low.
  • Creating higher prices for consumers at the pump as more gasoline will be used, driving up petroleum demand and prices.
  • Increasing greenhouse gas emissions with more gasoline usage to adversely impact our air quality.
  • Decreasing investment in advanced and 2nd generation biofuels such as cellulosic that would allow expansion of renewable, home-grown fuels.
  • Decreasing investment in biofuels infrastructure like E15, E85 and flex fuel pumps.

“This is a proposed rule and farmers still have time to influence the outcome,” said Mohr. “We are asking the Administration, on behalf of Iowa’s corn farmers, to meet the standards laid out by Congress on the RFS and let the industry drive investment to offer higher blends and volumes of ethanol to support U.S. farmers.”

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The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is an 8,000-member strong grassroots-driven organization, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, serving members across the state, and lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.

For More Information:

Shannon Textor
Director of Marketing & Communications
Iowa Corn Growers Association
515-225-9242
stextor@iowacorn.org

Amanda De Jong
Senior Policy Advisor
Iowa Corn Growers Association
515-225-9242
adejong@iowacorn.org

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