- DTN Headline News
Corn Growers Defend RFS
Friday, February 27, 2015 9:12AM CST

By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

PHOENIX (DTN) -- With another bill introduced in Congress to kill the corn-ethanol mandate, leaders of the National Corn Growers Association said Thursday they remain committed to defending the Renewable Fuel Standard and to getting EPA to release volume levels for the RFS.

Speaking at the Commodity Classic in Phoenix, corn growers said the group's No. 1 goal over the last few years has been to protect the RFS from efforts to minimize renewable fuel levels or eliminate the RFS through legislation.

"That's what our grassroots, that's what our farmers, that's what our delegates from states tell us we have to protect is the RFS," said Maryland farmer Chip Bowling, president of NCGA. "There has been no better success story the last 10 years for the corn farmer or the American grain farmer than the RFS. We are going to try to protect it no matter what."

On Thursday, Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015. The pair argued eliminating the corn-ethanol mandate would clear the way for advanced biofuels market expansion. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., introduced similar legislation earlier this month.

While neither bill has a large number of co-sponsors, corn farmers should not take such bills lightly. "Any threat to the RFS is a threat we take very seriously. Bottom line," said Illinois farmer Martin Barbre, chairman of NCGA.

Barbre noted the U.S. Renewable Fuels Standard even generates support from farmers in Argentina and Brazil who have seen how the RFS has helped lift global grain prices. "They understand the importance of the RFS to agriculture," Barbre said.

Chris Novak, chief executive officer for NCGA, said the oil industry is driving a large share of the congressional action and anti-ethanol push in Congress right now. Novak noted, however, that the renewable fuels industry still has a core of supporters in Congress and new lawmakers such as Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, who has expressed her support for the ethanol industry.

"We know when we look at the numbers that we have got a core of support in Congress who will step forward and help ensure that their congressional members understand the number of jobs and amount of economic activity the ethanol industry has brought to rural America. We know we have a great story to tell environmentally that's not necessarily being heard right now, but we will continue to push that message."

Ethanol supporters also are coping with the lack of direction on RFS volumes after EPA failed in 2014 to set volume obligations for blenders. EPA has vowed to correct the situation by setting volume levels for 2014-16 sometime this spring. Given earlier promises, corn growers are leery of EPA's ability to adopt a rule.

"We have a hard time understanding why an agency in the American government would want to pull back on something that's American grown and American used," Bowling said. "That's what our task is, again, is to promote the American use of ethanol."

NCGA also is starting a marketing-research project to examine consumer acceptance of ethanol. "That's something we have been involved in a little bit, but we're going to try to put some focus on that to try to understand what the consumer wants," Bowling said. "And if he doesn't want ethanol, then why and what can we do to change that mind?"

Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

(CZ/AG)


blog iconDTN Blogs & Forums
DTN Market Matters Blog
Katie Micik
Markets Editor
Monday, February 23, 2015 7:35PM CST
Monday, February 16, 2015 4:42PM CST
Monday, February 9, 2015 6:44PM CST
Technically Speaking
Darin Newsom
DTN Senior Analyst
Saturday, February 21, 2015 4:46PM CST
Saturday, February 21, 2015 3:20PM CST
Saturday, February 21, 2015 2:13PM CST
Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin
DTN Contributing Analyst
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 3:56PM CST
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 3:54PM CST
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 3:09PM CST
DTN Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
Friday, February 27, 2015 5:15AM CST
Thursday, February 26, 2015 3:05PM CST
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 2:58PM CST
Minding Ag's Business
Marcia Taylor
DTN Executive Editor
Thursday, February 19, 2015 5:21PM CST
Thursday, February 12, 2015 9:48PM CST
Thursday, January 29, 2015 11:24PM CST
DTN Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson
DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
Thursday, February 26, 2015 3:37PM CST
Friday, February 20, 2015 7:44PM CST
Thursday, February 19, 2015 8:11PM CST
Thursday, February 26, 2015 8:57PM CST
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 7:18PM CST
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 9:30PM CST
DTN Production Blog
Pam Smith
Crops Technology Editor
Monday, February 23, 2015 6:43PM CST
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 7:25PM CST
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 4:19PM CST
Harrington's Sort & Cull
John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst
Friday, February 20, 2015 5:15PM CST
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 10:41PM CST
Monday, February 2, 2015 6:29PM CST
South America Calling
Alastair Stewart
South America Correspondent
Thursday, February 26, 2015 11:21PM CST
Thursday, February 26, 2015 8:29PM CST
Thursday, February 26, 2015 4:06PM CST
An Urban’s Rural View
Urban Lehner
Editor Emeritus
Monday, February 23, 2015 11:26PM CST
Monday, February 16, 2015 1:29PM CST
Saturday, February 7, 2015 10:13PM CST
Machinery Chatter
Jim Patrico
Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Monday, February 23, 2015 10:01PM CST
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 5:18PM CST
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 10:09PM CST
Canadian Markets
Cliff Jamieson
Canadian Grains Analyst
Thursday, February 26, 2015 10:51PM CST
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 5:01PM CST
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 1:03AM CST
Editor’s Notebook
Greg D. Horstmeier
DTN Editor-in-Chief
Thursday, February 19, 2015 8:58PM CST
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 4:51PM CST
Thursday, December 4, 2014 6:34PM CST
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN