The EPA granted 31 small refinery waivers on Friday. After a long campaign in opposition to the biofuel waivers, corn and ethanol groups are calling the announcement detrimental to rural America.
National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp made the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency approved 31 refinery exemptions. Since early 2018, EPA has undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard and granted 53 RFS waivers to big oil companies, totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel.
“Waivers reduce demand for ethanol, lower the value of our crop and undermine the President’s support for America’s farmers. Waivers benefit big oil at the expense of corn farmers who, between losing export markets abroad and ethanol markets at home, are losing patience.
“Mr. President, you proudly stand with farmers, but your EPA isn’t following through. You can step up for farmers today by reining in RFS waivers. Farmers expect the RFS to be kept whole by accounting for waived gallons and bringing more transparency to EPA’s secret process.
“Farmers are facing a sixth consecutive year of depressed income and commodity prices, with farm income for 2019 projected to be half of what it was in 2013. It’s time for this Administration to act in the best interest of farmers.”
National Sorghum Producers Past Chairman Don Bloss, a sorghum farmer from Pawnee City, Nebraska, said, “National Sorghum Producers is disappointed in the EPA’s decision to administer extensions to profitable, undisclosed refiners at the detriment of U.S. ethanol and sorghum producers. The continued expansion of small refinery waivers places additional concerns on ethanol producers already facing significantly reduced margins.
“With one-third of the U.S. sorghum crop used to produce fuel ethanol, today’s announcement comes as a significant disappointment to sorghum farmers. With U.S. net farm income down almost 50 percent from the 2013 peak and sorghum farmers’ largest market, China, currently on the sidelines, these demand-destroying waivers could not have come at a worse time. National Sorghum Producers will continue to advocate for realistic, fair policies that fulfill Congressional intent while benefiting sorghum farmers and rural Americans.”