Texas farmer and National Corn Growers Association past president and chairman, Wesley Spurlock, today testified on behalf of NCGA at a House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee hearing to review a discussion draft of the 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act.
Spurlock told the Subcommittee of the significant opportunities the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has created for farmers.
“The RFS is one of the most ambitious and successful energy, environmental and economic policies Congress has enacted, not only for farmers and rural communities but also for drivers, our air quality and our nation’s energy security. As use of homegrown renewable fuels has grown and as farmers have become more productive using fewer resources, the benefits of the RFS have exceeded those Congress projected,” Spurlock said.
Spurlock’s testimony cited farmers’ increased productivity, increasing their average yield by more than 25 bushels per acre, or 17 percent, since 2007, as well as the benefits of value-added co-products like distillers grains for feed and corn oil for biodiesel.
“The value added by ethanol and increased farmer productivity has had a tremendous positive impact on rural America, helping the next generation return to their family farm,” Spurlock said.
Spurlock’s testimony touched on the myriad benefits of ethanol – consumers pay lower prices at the gas pump, greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced, and the most harmful compounds in gasoline have been replaced.
Spurlock said that while NCGA agrees with several provisions within the discussion draft, the organization believes it would ultimately undo successful renewable fuel policy and that it is not possible to continue to reduce emissions with an octane standard that could be met by using more oil.
“The net impact of this proposal would not maintain the market access renewable fuels currently have with the RFS or offer an opportunity to expand the use of ethanol as an octane source,” Spurlock said. “NCGA believes we should build on the success of the RFS when moving a future fuel policy forward.”
Spurlock thanked the Subcommittee for its advocacy for farmers and renewable fuels and stressed NCGA’s interest in providing input for any future consideration of renewable fuel policy.
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.