NCGA: EPA must account for waivers
WASHINGTON – On Aug. 30, the National Corn Growers Association submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed 2020 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
While NCGA appreciates EPA’s 15 billion gallon proposal for conventional biofuel, these proposed volumes are meaningless by failing to account for issued refinery waivers, which EPA significantly expanded during this Administration.
“NCGA has no confidence in the volumes EPA proposes for 2020. These refinery waivers have significantly outpaced annual increases in RFS volume requirements, taking RFS volume requirements backward,” NCGA President Lynn Chrisp wrote in the organization’s comments to EPA.
President Trump’s actions on ethanol have cost 2,700 rural jobs and impacted demand for more than 300 million bushels of corn as a result of ethanol plant closures and slowing production. Since 2018, the 85 RFS exemptions granted to big oil refineries have totaled 4.04 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. Accounting for future waived gallons in the 2020 volume standards is an immediate step the Administration can take to address the anxiety being felt across farm country and put meaning back in the RFS.
“EPA must use the 2020 RVO rule to keep the RFS whole. Doing so will deliver the full clean air, cost savings, energy security and rural economic benefits consumers and farmers receive from the RFS,” Chrisp wrote.
NCGA also urged EPA to restore the 500 million gallons the D.C. Circuit Court determined EPA improperly waived.