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CCFB News» December 2019

Farm Bureau Engages on Renewable Fuel Standard

12/03/2019 @ 3:30 pm

Farm Bureau Engages on Renewable Fuel Standard

 

Cook County Farm Bureau® members sent the following letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

 

I am writing to urge the Environmental Protection Agency to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard, as promised by President Trump, and guaranteed by law.    Over the past 15 years, the Renewable Fuel Standard has transformed Illinois agriculture.   The law strengthened domestic demand and improved prices for my corn.  

 

As a farmer, I can tell you that Small Refinery Exemptions granted by EPA over the last three years have been devastating to corn growers and to the renewable fuel industry.  The market for corn ethanol has shrunk dramatically, falling roughly 230 million bushels in the last year alone and leading to plant closures, including two in Illinois.  This leaves farmers with fewer options to market our products and undermines the goals set by Congress to create a more robust renewable fuels industry and achieve greater energy independence.

 

EPA’s supplemental proposal does nothing to restore integrity to the RFS.  Rather than base the projected volume of gasoline and diesel that would be exempt in 2020 on a three-year rolling average of actual exemptions, the agency proposes that this three-year rolling average be based on the relief recommended by the Department of Energy.   This is problematic because DOE’s projections for the volume of biofuels to be exempted are significantly lower than EPA’s actual exemptions.

 

I urge EPA to reallocate a rolling average of actual exempted volumes.   Doing otherwise would no doubt result in backsliding to much less than the statutorily required 15-billion-gallon level for conventional biofuels.   That would fail to restore stability to the marketplace, continue to hurt farmers, and reduce America’s energy independence.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

If you’d like additional information on this topic, please contact Bona Heinsohn at (708) 354-3276 or via email at bona@cookcfb.org.