Renewable fuels benefit our economy, our energy security, and our environment, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should set a strong volume for all renewable fuel types, National Corn Growers Association Board member Keith Alverson testified today at an EPA hearing on the 2018 renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“My local ethanol plant was constructed one year prior to my college graduation. That plant and the economic opportunity it created is a large part of what enabled me, as well as other young farmers, to return to the farm,” said Alverson, a sixth-generation farmer from Chester, South Dakota. “Because ethanol production is a vital market for corn farmers, we are pleased EPA proposed an implied volume of 15 billion gallons for conventional renewable fuel.”
While praising the EPA’s proposed volume for conventional renewable fuels, Alverson expressed concern that EPA proposed an overall volume of renewable fuels that is 40 million gallons below 2017 figures, and a cellulosic biofuel volume that is 73 million gallons lower.
“Corn farmers recognize the strong link between first- and second-generation biofuels and the role corn fills in producing the next generation of homegrown fuel that increases our energy security and lowers costs for consumers,” said Alverson.
“We ask the EPA to maintain the proposed conventional fuel requirement in the final rule… [but] set higher final volumes for cellulosic, advanced and total biofuels in order to draw the continued investment and innovation needed to maintain the expansion of cellulosic and advanced fuel production.
“As EPA noted in the proposed rule, many ethanol producers are investing in new technologies to produce cellulosic ethanol at existing facilities. NCGA urges EPA to work with producers to fully quantify this production and consider all 2017 cellulosic data,” Alverson testified.
EPA is currently accepting public comments on the proposed 2018 volumes. Supporters are urged to submit comments today via www.ncga.com/rfs. The deadline is August 31.