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Corn growers celebrate EPA ethanol announcement


From South Dakota to Texas, Colorado to Indiana, corn growers nationwide are pleased with the recent EPA ethanol announcement of the final 2017 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The EPA announced the RVO level for conventional ethanol fuel for 2017 at 15 billion gallons, meeting the target level in the RFS.

According to the EPA ruling, total renewable fuel volumes will grow by 1.2 billion gallons from 2016 to 2017, a 6 percent increase. Advanced renewable fuel — which requires 50 percent lifecycle carbon emissions reductions — will grow by roughly 700 million gallons between 2016 and 2017.

Wesley Spurlock , a Texas farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association, said the EPA ruling is a move in the right direction.

“This is critical for farmers facing difficult economic times, as well as for consumers who care about clean air, affordable fuel choices, and lowering our dependence on foreign oil,” Spurlock said. “The Renewable Fuel Standard has been one of America’s great policy success stories. It has improved our energy independence, our air quality, and our rural economies. Although we believe the EPA did not have authority to reduce the ethanol numbers in the first place, we are pleased to see the RVO finally back on track.”

The oil industry, on the other hand, is not happy with the EPA ethanol announcement. According to, shares in Valero Energy, Tesoro Corp, and HollyFrontier all fell after the announcement. The article stated that the VP for Tesoro said the new biofuel mandates are “unworkable” and the downstream director of the American Petroleum Institute called them “irresponsible.”

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