The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released today its final rule decreasing the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It reduced the volume of corn ethanol levels by nearly 500 million gallons for 2016.
“While we are pleased EPA has taken a step forward to revise its original proposal, any reduction in the RVO below the statutory levels will significantly cut America’s use of cleaner burning renewable fuels and halt continued demand for corn-based ethanol,” said Bob Hemesath, a farmer from Decorah and President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA). “At a time when corn prices are below the cost of production, this will be a blow to Iowa’s rural economy.”
RVOs are set annually by EPA to dictate the amount of renewable fuel that is blended into the motor fuel supply. The RFS is a federal law that requires domestic, renewable, cleaner burning ethanol to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply. It has been one of America’s most successful energy policies ever.
“Contrary to the erroneous criticism spread by the oil industry, biofuels can meet growing consumer demand for these home-grown fuels,” said Hemesath. “We should be strengthening our commitment to renewable fuels, not taking a step backwards.”
When the EPA proposed to lower the RVO numbers under the RFS, ICGA activated and engaged members from across the state to defend this important priority for our organization, farmer members and industry. ICGA, as well as many other organizations across the nation, submitted thousands of comments to the EPA telling them to stick with the statute that was passed by Congress.
“The RFS is the number one priority for ICGA as it builds demand for corn and corn-products. In light of the EPA’s decision, we will continue to fight to protect RFS and hold the EPA accountable.”
Iowa Corn will continue to grow the renewable fuel market by working to upgrade infrastructure for higher blends and promote the use of higher blends amongst automakers, fuel retailers and consumers to gain more demand for corn-based ethanol.
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.