APRIL 2013

(Posted Tue. Apr 23rd, 2013)

Apr. 23: Late yesterday, the National Corn Growers Association submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency supporting the Renewable Fuel Standard and incentives issued to auto manufacturers for Flex Fuel Vehicle production. These comments, which were submitted in response to EPA’s Draft Guidance for E85 Flexible Fuel Vehicle Weighting Factors, expressed concern that the Agency’s proposal does not adequately incentivize the automobile manufacturers to continue building FFVs after the 2016 model year.

To read the full comments as submitted, please click here.

“NCGA’s 38,000 members, along with the nation’s corn farmers, firmly support the RFS and strongly believe that it has successfully increased our country’s energy security while reducing greenhouse gas emissions that would pollute our air,” said NCGA Ethanol Committee Chair Chad Willis, a farmer from Willmar, Minn. “Ethanol can play a key role in working toward further reductions and meeting future energy needs but, to do so, we need continued production of the FFVs. We hope that the EPA will consider the importance of FFVs in continuing to meet this goal and choose to continue creating policy that corresponds with the benefits FFVs offer our nation’s environment and consumers.”

In the comments, NCGA points out that, since implementation of the RFS in 2007, it has increased national energy security by creating a market for a renewable fuel as a substitute for non-renewable petroleum-based fuel, thus accelerating the nation’s progress toward a low GHG emissions economy. At the same time, the RFS has contributed to the reduction of petroleum imports.

The comments go on to explain how continuing to stand by the RFS and supporting policies will build upon this success and achieve even greater results.

“This program has and will continue to have an overall positive impact on the U.S. economy, our national security and the nation’s health. U.S. Agriculture and the ethanol industry are committed to the goals of the Energy Independence and Security Act and meeting the RFS2 GHG emission reductions by producing 36 billion gallons of renewable biofuels by 2022.”

Comments express concern over how the policies expressed in the guidance document would impact the progress toward low GHG and sustainable fuels saying “in 2012, a complete switch in the focus of automobiles and infrastructure occurred from a system designed to decrease GHG emissions using a renewable feedstock to one that increases GHG emissions using non-renewable feedstock.”

“It is key that everyone involved in creating policies to improve our environment remain aware of the true degree of benefit ethanol offers in comparison to petroleum-based fuels,” said Willis. “To keep this in perspective, it is important to remember the origin of the components of any fuel. Unlike electricity and natural gas, ethanol comes from a truly renewable stock that gives back to the environment. We may not be able to mine our way to a better tomorrow, but our nation’s corn farmers can grow our way there.”