The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has once again failed to follow the federal Renewable Fuel Standard as set by law, and is proposing to reduce the amount of ethanol required by the RFS to be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply. EPA is proposing to reduce the amount to below the Congressionally-mandated 15 billion gallons for 2017. The agency is currently holding a public comment period on its proposal, and that window is set to close on July 11.
“Now is the time to make your voice heard,” says Bill Couser, a central Iowa farmer and former president of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA). Currently serving on the board of directors of Lincolnway Energy, an ethanol production plant at Nevada, Iowa, Couser is encouraging all Iowans to “Take 15 seconds and submit an online comment to EPA at IowaRFA.org/rfs. Urge your friends, family, co-workers and other RFS-backers to do the same.”
Let EPA know now, before public comment period ends July 11
On July 11, 2016 the public comment period will close on EPA’s proposal to reduce the RFS volumes. “We need you to take action today to help guarantee as many public comments as possible urging the Obama Administration to reject EPA’s current proposal and restore a strong and growing RFS,” says Couser. Likewise, the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is urging all farmers and the motoring public to go online and use the National Corn Growers Association’s website at ncga.com/rfs to your comments to the EPA regarding America’s need for a robust RFS. Either of these two web links are quicker and easier to use than the federal government’s website.
Carl Jardon, a corn and soybean farmer from Fremont County in southwest Iowa authored the following editorial and sent it to Wallaces Farmer magazine on the Fourth of July, with the following thoughts about Independence Day and the importance of achieving energy independence for America. Active in the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Jardon is chairman of ICGA’s Corn Industrial Usage & U.S. Production Committee. Here are his thoughts:
Ethanol is a homegrown fuel that creates 43,000 jobs in Iowa alone
“As we celebrate our nation's independence, I'm calling on my fellow farmers and all Iowans to take the time to celebrate ethanol, Iowa's cleaner burning, homegrown fuel which creates more than 43,000 jobs here in our great state.
“Right now, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed lowering the amount of ethanol in their 2017 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO). The RVO, set by the Renewable Fuel Standard, ensures that American-made ethanol is blended in our fuel supply, and it is the most successful U.S. energy policy in recent history. By setting the RVO conventional target at 14.8 billion gallons for 2017 (instead of 15 billion which is called for in the statute) the EPA wants to effectively cap corn ethanol at that 14.8 billion gallon number, cutting corn usage by 71.4 million bushels.
Strong RFS is needed so ethanol can compete with big oil’s monopoly
“As a farmer, I understand firsthand and appreciate the value of our free market system. I am at the mercy of these markets every day when it comes to marketing my crops. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the U.S. fuel market. For centuries, big oil companies have enjoyed a variety of tax incentives which led to incredible barriers for the entry of ethanol and other renewable fuels into the marketplace. This all changed when Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in an effort to provide cleaner-burning fuel options for consumers at the pump.
“Big oil has a monopoly on the motor fuel market. But thanks to the RFS, ethanol is allowed to have access to that market. The RFS continues to be extremely important to farmers like myself, and our families. It has helped rebuild rural America by providing opportunities for young and educated individuals to turn to farming and the renewable fuels industry as secure careers. The RFS demonstrably keeps rural America working and thriving.
Submit your comments to EPA today by using the online resources
“This issue expands beyond benefiting the corn industry. The RFS is needed by consumers, too. This issue touches not only the cost and quality of fuel available at the pump and the quality of the air we breathe, but also our nation's reliance on foreign oil. So this July 4th, we stand in support of America's homegrown fuel and a strong Renewable Fuel Standard by urging the EPA to follow the law of the RFS so you have choices at the pump for Iowa's homegrown fuel. The agency will be accepting comments through July 11, so be sure to make your voice heard. Go to ncga.com/rfs.”