A new white paper from the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) provides a clear and concise summary of recent regulatory action related to corn ethanol. Two are at the federal level, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and one was a recent action by the state of California’s Air Resources Board. This is part of an effort to ensure growers and others are aware of recent events, what NCGA’s position is and what action should be taken in support the growers’ interests and the interests of the ethanol industry.
“With so much going on at such a busy time for our growers, information such as this is important for keeping them informed and engaged,” says Steve Ruh, chairman of NCGA’s ethanol committee and a grower from Sugar Grove, IL. “Our growers are in the midst of a hectic planting season, but they need to know that they will have a secure and stable market come harvest time.”
The three regulatory issues are:
• The EPA is currently accepting comments (until May 21) on a request to increase the maximum allowable blend of ethanol into conventional gasoline to up to 15%.
• On May 5, the EPA issued its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that was expanded in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Also that day, President Obama announced the formation of the Biofuels Interagency Working Group, which will be co-chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
• In California on April 23, the state’s Air Resources Board enacted a tough Low Carbon Fuel Standard that takes into account so-called “indirect” land use changes in the production of biofuels.
“The ethanol industry is a critical part of our nation’s domestic energy security,” Ruh says. “It is especially important that we succeed in moving to higher blends of ethanol, which is critical to the sustained health and expansion of corn and cellulosic ethanol production in the U.S.”