(Posted Thu. Nov 21st, 2013)
Nov. 21: Yesterday, National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre participated in a meeting at the White House in which key representatives from the biofuels industry and agribusiness presented information on the negative impacts of the proposed 2014 renewable volume obligation levels for the Renewable Fuel Standard released by the Environmental Protection Agency last week. During this discussion, Barbre presented compelling evidence of the importance of maintaining the volume obligations of the RFS as written in statute.
As outlined in the proposed RVOs issued last week, the EPA intends to reduce the baseline 2014 RVOs for the RFS from 14.4 billion gallons to 13 billion gallons. This ill-advised and unnecessary cut in required volumes will hault innovation in the renewable fuels market. Further, this reduction in volumes would have a devastating effect on farmers and rural communities across the country.
American farmers are currently harvesting their corn crops, by the latest USDA projections, it will be an all-time record 13.8 billion bushels. As a result of this record, corn prices are falling and currently stand close to where they were when the RFS2 was enacted in 2007.
This price decline comes at the same time that the cost of production has increased. In 2012, it cost $655 per acre to plant corn. Based on this year’s projected yields, a farm price of $4.25 per bushels would be required to cover production costs. Given the impact this proposal could have upon deman, and in light of the uncertain message it sends to those who invest in biofuels, the economic consequences of such action would reach far beyond rural America, impacting future U.S. energy security and creating environmental repercussions.
The meeting, which also included representation from the Advanced Biofuels Association, the Advanced Ethanol Council, Archer Daniels Midland, Growth Energy, POET, Monsanto, the National Farmers Union, Novozymes, and the Renewable Fuels Association, presented the aforementioned information to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, advisors to the Obama administration and representatives from the EPA.
NCGA is working tirelessly to bring the Administration’s attention to the potential impacts of the proposed RVOs, and while this meeting served as an initial contact since the proposal, it will sustain a focused, vigourous defense of the RFS. Members, non-member farmers, residents of rural America, advocates for biofuel and energy security and those invested in creating a more environmentally friendly energy future are urged to visit www.ncga.com/rfs for updated information on ways in which they can support these efforts as the situation evolves.