The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today took a step in the right direction in announcing its final renewable fuel requirement for corn ethanol, according to the president of the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.
“We are pleased the EPA revised its original proposal toward complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS),” said Casey Kelleher, a corn grower from Whitewater. “The RFS is working as intended by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing our reliance on foreign oil, lowering gasoline prices for consumers and increasing economic stability in rural America.”
EPA’s final ethanol Reformulated Volume Obligation (RVO) rule remains below statute but will be higher than its May 2015 proposal. The RVO is the mechanism EPA uses to implement the RFS. RVOs are the renewable fuel targets for each refiner or importer of petroleum-based gasoline or diesel fuel.
“The fact remains that the EPA still is not meeting the statutory amount set by Congress. Unfortunately, Big Oil’s misinformation influence is guiding EPA and taking advantage of consumers,” said Kelleher.
“Big Oil’s stronghold on our nation’s energy supply denies consumers the freedom to choose a cleaner burning fuel, and continues its reckless endangerment of our nation’s air quality,” said Kelleher. “The RFS is needed for one reason: the vertically integrated oil industry controls the majority of fuel suppliers and retail outlets in the United States. Without the RFS there is a very real possibility that ethanol would be cut out of the marketplace.”
Kelleher said WCGA will shift its focus toward supporting the expansion of pumps in Wisconsin that will contain a higher blend of ethanol than currently available in most locations. This expansion will offer consumers more clean, renewable fuel options.
Wisconsin has nine ethanol plants, producing more than 500 million gallons of ethanol. Wisconsin’s ethanol industry has a $4.2 billion economic impact, supporting 19,080 jobs with $982 million in wages.
WCGA is a membership organization that represents the interest of state corn growers in the growth and management of corn grown for on-farm feeding and commercial sale. WCGA works with other organizations in areas of mutual concern, and brings together corn growers to provide information and education at regional corn conferences and the annual Wisconsin Corn/Soy EXPO. As part of NCGA, WCGA represents corn grower interests nationally and internationally and also sponsors annual corn yield contests.