Missouri Corn Growers Urge Level Playing On EPA Multi-Pollutant Emissions Proposal

Posted on: July 5, 2023

(JEFFERSON CITY)—The Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) today weighed in on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest emissions standards proposal, stating the rule would not work for rural Americans and calling for a level playing field when lowering vehicle emissions.

Targeting model years 2027-2032, the rule would tighten emissions from vehicle tailpipes, decreasing the ability of automobile manufacturers to produce internal combustion engines and increasing the requirement to produce battery electric vehicles (BEVs). If finalized as proposed, EPA expects its tailpipe emissions standards could result in BEVs accounting for 67% of new light-duty vehicle sales and 46% of new medium-duty vehicle sales by 2032.

“As producers of feedstocks for low-carbon biofuels, MCGA strongly opposes the proposed emissions standards within this rulemaking,” notes the organization’s CEO Bradley Schad. “We estimate this rule may cost the U.S. corn industry nearly one-billion bushels annually in lost demand. This would deal a potentially devastating blow to corn farmers across the country. But the rule’s negative impact will ripple beyond the corn industry. The rule is discriminatory to all farmers and rural America whose economies and way of life depend on agriculture, as well as cars and trucks powered by internal combustion engines.”

In the organization’s comments to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Schad also questions the agency’s claims that the standards are “technology neutral.”

“The proposed standards effectively box automakers into a BEV-only corner, forcing them to produce BEVs at an increasingly rapid rate. The rule gives no consideration or opportunity for other liquid fuel technologies to meet emissions goals. The proposed emissions standards would effectively ban gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles by incentivizing, if not dictating, auto manufacturers build BEVs.”

In addition, MCGA notes the monumental challenges associated with implementing this proposed rule. “The rule gives a wholly unrealistic and false impression the U.S. has a robust and reliable public EV charging infrastructure ready to accommodate the vast number of BEVs. MCGA members driving Missouri’s rural roads know this is not the case.”

“Focusing on new fuel technologies that work within existing vehicle powertrains and fueling infrastructure available right now is the smart way forward,” Schad says. “To that end, MCGA urges EPA to focus its energy on modernizing the nation’s liquid fuel standards, not cherry-picking winners and losers in the vehicle technology and powertrain sector.”

MCGA joins other industry and auto partners in pushing EPA to adopt a market-oriented, technology-neutral approach. The full letter is available here.

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