The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) updated Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) transparency website that will provide information on granted small refinery waivers and data on Renewable Identification Number (RIN) prices.
“We appreciate the step EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler has taken to update the RFS data website to bring some initial transparency to refinery exemptions. This information is a good place to start.
“However, there are a lot of questions left unanswered. We will still not know EPA’s justification for granting a refinery waiver and, without a change in how EPA accounts for those exempted gallons, those waived gallons will still be lost from RFS obligations. It’s helpful to know when the harm is being done, but EPA needs to go a step further and take steps to mitigate the damage.
“We are still waiting for a plan to ensure exemptions are accounted for, with 2.25 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons waived during the past year and with 11 new 2018 petitions pending. With low commodity prices and an expected large corn harvest, America’s corn farmers need reliable markets for their crop.”
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.