A strong 2022 volume requirement under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is important as American leaders seek to lower gas prices, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with inflation, said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington to federal agency staff during a Monday meeting on the final RFS volume rule currently under review.
Corn growers support the proposed 2022 RFS numbers, Edgington told the Office of Management and Budget and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff. But he reiterated NCGA’s concerns with EPA’s proposal of retroactive 2021 volumes below actual use and the proposed reopening and revising already final 2020 standards.
“It’s important to share our perspective on corn supply and corn growers’ increasing productivity and sustainability, which allow us to meet demand for food, feed, fuel and exports with bushels to spare,” said Edgington. “Americans are feeling the effects of inflation, and they see the connection between high oil prices and higher food costs. Blending more ethanol, which costs less and increases the fuel supply by billions of gallons, helps in remedying this situation.”
Edgington referenced a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult that showed that 92% of adults are concerned about inflation, 69% are very concerned about the cost of gas, and 65% said they were very concerned about the cost of groceries. The survey also showed that consumers correctly hold higher oil prices and inflation responsible for higher food prices, not biofuels, illustrating the importance of bringing down fuel costs, Edgington noted.
Ethanol has been priced an average of 80 cents less per gallon than unblended gasoline at wholesale through the spring. Today’s technology has enabled farmers to increase yields on each acre to produce more corn for food, feed and fuel needs using less land and fewer resources, Edgington told OMB.
EPA is under a June 3 deadline to issue final RFS volume requirements for 2022 and delayed volumes for 2021.