After a very lengthy deferment, Nebraska corn farmers are frustrated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent release of the proposed 2015 and 2016 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) figures. Once again the EPA reveals their flawed tactics in implementing the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by proposing to cut the corn ethanol obligation. EPA proposes to adjust the conventional biofuel requirements in the RFS passed by Congress downward by more than 1.5 billion gallons.
disappointing to see the methodology behind this long overdue proposal. EPA is
continuing to play into the hands of the oil industry,” said Tim Scheer, farmer
from St. Paul, Nebraska and Chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. "Family
farmers have responded to ethanol demand by using technology to produce larger
crops and grow more with less. Yet, the EPA still chose to side with the oil
industry and decrease the RFS levels, ignoring the fact that American farmers
can easily supply enough corn to meet the RFS requirements previously set
long-awaited 2015 and 2016 RFS proposals increase the overall use of biofuels
over the two-year period; however, the levels are below what Congress had
mandated in the original legislation. The proposed RVO level for conventional
ethanol in 2015 is 13.4 billion gallons and 14.0 billion gallons for
2016. Nevertheless, congressional statue dictates that RVO levels for
both 2015 and 2016 should be at 15 billion gallons.
proposed figures represent nearly 1 billion bushels in lost corn demand and 8.5
million tons of distillers grains (DG) that the livestock industry will not
have access to.
work and investment that Nebraska corn and livestock farmers have put into
building the ethanol industry is at risk. We've already seen corn prices drift
at or below the cost of production and cutting the use of corn for ethanol
could drive prices even lower. This decision could also idle capacity and
restrict access to the distillers grain market for the livestock sector,”
The RFS is
one of our nation’s most successful energy programs and is working exactly as
designed. It has reduced greenhouse gas emissions, decreased our reliance on
foreign oil, lowered gasoline prices for consumers, increased economic
stability in rural American and spurred innovation in advanced and cellulosic
might be expected that farmers would be frustrated about this, but every
American should be upset as well," said Larry Mussack, farmer from
Decatur, Nebraska and President of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.
"The RFS is federal policy that has been very beneficial to our country,
and there is no reason we should not stay on course to increase the diversity
of our nation's transportation fuel supply and help keep down costs at the
added, “American farmers and consumers were promised the opportunity to utilize
an American-made, cleaner, renewable alternative to oil. This proposal not only
ignores that agreement, but diminishes the cost-saving options that ethanol
provides in the marketplace for consumers.”
proposal has been posted to the Federal Register, comments will be accepted
with the EPA planning to issue the final volume requirements in November, 2015.