The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today, along with 14 state affiliate associations, urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide more certainty and use forward-looking data analysis to update policy that will lead to greater flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) production and increased demand for higher blends of ethanol.
The associations submitted comments in response to EPA’s request for input on data sources and analytical approaches on which to base an updated weighting factor (F-factor) for E85 FFVs for model year 2021 and later.
“As the producers of the primary feedstock for ethanol, corn farmers support a forward-looking, consistent, long-term F-factor that provides automakers with greater certainty in compliance crediting for planning vehicle production,” the associations wrote.
“Corn farmers have responded to the demand for clean, renewable fuel with increased productivity. Corn production has improved on all measures of resource efficiency, including higher crop yields per acre, resulting in greater corn production using less land and fewer inputs, further fortifying ethanol as a sustainable, low-carbon renewable fuel,” they added.
NCGA and State Corn Grower Associations made the following recommendations:
- We support EPA maintaining the current F-factor of 0.14 unless and until EPA adopts an updated, forward-looking, higher F-factor determination.
- Any future F-factor determination should remain current guidance until EPA adopts a new determination to avoid gaps in the F-factor and prevent a default to zero, supporting certainty for manufacturer decision making.
- We agree with the automotive industry that a five-year advance notice requirement, plus three years of a production safe harbor for FFV models, will provide greater regulatory predictability and encourage automaker planning and innovation in FFV production.
- We believe it is inappropriate for EPA to determine a new F-factor based only on backward-looking data or limited historical data. The use of updated and forward-looking growth in station numbers and per station E85 throughput, however, supports an F-factor of 0.2.
- We have serious concerns with the problematic changes made in federal energy outlook projections made in 2020 compared to 2019, including the treatment of RFS refinery waivers, which make the 2020 outlook unsuitable for F-factor determination without corrections.
- Multiple data sources cited in our comments support an updated F-factor of at least 0.2.
- We urge EPA to rely on these data sources when determining an F-factor for MY 2021 and later, and we believe the data justifies an F-factor of 0.2.
Click here to read submitted comments.
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.