YPSILANTI, Mich. — Members of the Michigan Corn Growers Association (MCGA) called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and maintain a strong, equitable rule that follows Congressional intent and levels the playing field for America’s farmers by using the annual volume rule to repair the damage from extensive refinery exemptions.
Four MCGA members testified before EPA at a field hearing held in Ypsilanti Wednesday: Russell Braun, farmer from Ovid; Don Morse, farmer from Birch Run; Scott Miller, farmer from Elsie; and Dennis Heffron, farmer from Belding.
“Ethanol has a huge impact on rural economies like mine,” said Dennis Heffron, farmer and MCGA member from Belding. “Ethanol production not only provides an important market for corn farmers, it benefits the nation’s economy and energy security by creating nearly 360,000 jobs and displacing 527 million barrels of foreign oil. Consumers win with a higher-octane fuel that enhances engine performance, offers environmental and air quality benefits and costs less than regular gas.”
EPA’s proposal supports some growth in the RFS volumes and continues to propose an implied 15-billion-gallon volume for conventional ethanol. However, the proposed rule allows for retroactive refinery exemptions, without reallocating those waived gallons, undercutting the volume targets and rendering the proposed blending levels meaningless. In the past year, EPA has retroactively waived 2.25 billion ethanol equivalent-gallons from the 2016 and 2017 volumes through 48 refinery exemptions, many of which went to refineries owned by large, profitable companies.
“Ethanol is a homegrown, American made, cleaner burning fuel that saves consumers money at the pump and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent compared with gasoline,” said Don Morse, farmer and MCGA member from Birch Run. “EPA is supposed to be looking out for what’s good for the American consumer and the country. We’ve had a lot of stumbling blocks along the way, one of them being the unnecessary waivers to refineries. I ask that EPA do what the intent of the law was and what’s good for country and the American people and uphold the RFS.”
Farmers across the country can join this effort by visiting http://www.standupforcorn.com/take-action.html to submit their comments to EPA.
— Michigan Corn Growers Association
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