Minnesota farmer and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Ethanol Action Team member Brian Thalmann today called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the law and accurately account for expected refinery waivers in the 2020 RFS volume rule.
Thalmann testified at an EPA hearing to review the agency’s supplemental proposal to the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking.
“We’re in the thick of harvest and, quite frankly, I would rather be in the field. But the issue we’re discussing today is too important to corn farmers like me not to be here. I have a simple message - when it comes the Renewable Fuel Standard, we need EPA to follow the law. As farmers, we follow rules put in place by state and federal agencies, including the EPA. We are simply asking EPA to do the same for us,” Thalmann said.
Today’s hearing follows an October 4 announcement from President Trump directing the EPA to follow the letter of the law and keep the RFS whole by using the three-year average of renewable fuel gallons actually waived by the EPA to account for waivers going forward. EPA, however, is now proposing to account for waivers based on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recommendations, rather than the actual gallons waived by EPA. EPA has consistently waived nearly twice as much as DOE has recommended.
“Good intentions don’t provide certainty. Without a binding commitment that the RFS will be kept whole, this rule gives EPA free rein to change direction any time,” Thalmann said.
Corn farmers are encouraged to contact the EPA and tell the Agency to follow through on the President’s commitment to farmers and the RFS. The comment period closes November 29.
Thalmann’s full testimony is available online.
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.