Missouri Corn Growers Challenge EPA’s Proposed Ethanol Plan

Posted on: June 9, 2016

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)—Members of the Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) once again joined farmers and ethanol supporters from across the Midwest today to remind the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is working. During an EPA field hearing held in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, attendees urged EPA officials to reconsider its latest proposal that cuts the amount of corn-based ethanol below statutory levels set by Congress.

“Just a year ago we were in a room similar to this, walking through many of the same points being reviewed today,” noted MCGA President Morris Heitman of Mound City during his testimony. “It is unfortunate that once again I, and many other corn growers, had to take a day away from the farm to remind the EPA they are once again, ignoring the law with regard to the proposed corn-based ethanol blending targets.”

Last year the EPA proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) nearly 4 billion gallons lower than statutory levels. During that public comment period, Missouri corn growers testified at the EPA hearing held in Kansas City, Kansas and attended rallies for renewable fuels in both Kansas City and Washington, D.C. After massive pushback, EPA raised their proposed renewable fuel requirements, but fell short of meeting full statutory levels set by Congress. In May, EPA proposed to set the 2017 RVO at 14.8 billion gallons for corn-based ethanol. This is 200 million fewer gallons than the 15 billion gallons called for by the RFS.

“Consumers are demanding options at the pump and by not enforcing the statutory levels set by Congress, Big Oil will continue its stranglehold on the marketplace,” Missouri Corn board member Gary Porter of Mercer said during his testimony. “Today I ask that you reconsider this proposal and follow the law established by the Renewable Fuel Standard. Renewable fuels help revitalize our rural communities, decrease our dependence on oil and gives consumers more options at the pump.”

The public hearing started at 9 a.m. in the Sheraton at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to the hearing, Fuels America, a coalition of organizations committed to protecting the RFS, hosted a press conference. Key industry advocates including Missouri Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce, Crappie Masters Spokesperson Brian Sowers and National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling spoke about the importance of ethanol and reinstating RVO numbers to full statutory levels.  

Supporters who could not testify at the hearing are urged to submit comments to the EPA by July 11, when regulators will begin drafting a final rule.

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Photo Caption: Missouri Corn Growers Association President Morris Heitman testified at an EPA field hearing in Kansas City, Mo., June 9. Heitman urged the EPA to reconsider its proposal to reduce ethanol requirements in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.

Photo Credit: Missouri Corn Growers Association

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Photo Caption: During a June 9 EPA field hearing in Kansas City, Mo., Missouri Corn board member Gary Porter shared with the agency how the Renewable Fuel Standard impacts his farm and retail fuel station.

Photo Credit: Missouri Corn Growers Association

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