The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on today’s Environment Subcommittee Hearing “High-Octane Fuels and High Efficiency Vehicles: Challenges and Opportunities.”
“While corn growers are pleased that the value of octane that comes naturally from ethanol is being recognized by automakers, we need to look at the whole of any policy being proposed. We can’t look at an octane standard in isolation. We must look at the sum of all the parts.
“Congress enacted the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) because it was important to diversify the transportation fuel supply, and that diversity remains an important energy policy objective. One way to evaluate any proposal related to the transportation fuel supply is to ask whether it makes our transportation fuel more dependent on oil or whether it continues to provide opportunities to expand the use of homegrown biofuels.
“With the ongoing push for cleaner burning fuels, ethanol can be a growing contributor to the solution. Ethanol is the cleanest burning fuel in the marketplace. Now is not the time to take a step backward.
“Corn growers view the octane discussion as one step in the changing fuel and vehicle marketplace. A high-octane, midlevel ethanol blend would benefit consumers by providing more options and cost savings at the pump. Ethanol also has environmental benefits and provides an additional market for the abundance of corn we have in the United States.
“It is apparent however, the small move on octane that could be met by the premium fuel already on the market today is not sufficient, and NCGA will continue to provide input to Members of Congress interested in these issues.
“Corn growers vehemently oppose EPA’s efforts to rewrite the RFS, and we appreciate House Energy and Commerce Committee members for recognizing this harm and drawing attention to EPA’s exemptions to small refiners that appear to have waived at least 1 billion gallons of ethanol from the RFS volumes and adversely impacted corn demand.”
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.