Tricia Braid

May 29, 2015  |  Today's News

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its Renewable Volume Obligation numbers for 2014, 2015, 2016.  Retailers will be required to sell 13.25 billion gallons of corn based ethanol in 2014, 13.4 billion gallons in 2015, and 14 billion gallons in 2016.

In response, IL Corn has issued two news releases in regards to this issue.

The first was a statement from our Illinois Corn Growers Association President Ken Hartman, Jr, a family farmer from Waterloo, IL, released the following statement in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of the proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2014, 2015, and 2016.                                                                                                  

“EPA has attacked U.S. farmers for the second time this week, clearly illustrating that the Agency is in the anti-agriculture corner. Today they released the Renewable Fuel Standard RVO numbers and the corn ethanol numbers can only be described as absurd.

“My initial reaction was to say out loud, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’

“Does EPA even know how to read the real-world conventional corn-based ethanol production and usage numbers? It seems like they’re spinning some fairy tale here and expecting the rest of us to play along in this game of make believe.

“Is EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy driving this nonsense? Is it the Obama Administration? Who wants to take credit for EPA’s actions this week?

“This is flat out ridiculous.

“Illinois Corn believes EPA has broken Federal law time and again on the conventional RVO numbers. They’ve snubbed their nose at Congressional statute. They’ve ignored thousands of evidence-based comments on this issue and others.

“This EPA is out of control. It’s high time they be held accountable.”

The second was a statement in regards to a new program announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership.

Illinois motorists are in a perfect position to benefit from a $100 million grant program announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that would improve fueling infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol.

The so-called Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership will support the infrastructure needed to make higher ethanol blend options available to consumers. Specifically, USDA will administer competitive grants to match funding for state-led efforts to market higher blends of renewable fuel, such as E15 and E85. States that are able to provide greater than a one-to-one ratio in funding will receive higher consideration.

“We’re appreciative of Secretary Vilsack’s efforts to support rural economies and consumer choice,” said Ken Hartman, Jr., Illinois Corn Growers Association President and farmer from Waterloo. “This USDA program is refreshing given signals coming from the Administration in other areas related to agriculture.

“Illinois corn farmers are committed to expanded consumer choice at the pump by expanding market access to higher blends. We look forward to matching these USDA dollars with existing and planned program funds here in Illinois.”

Illinois corn farmers have long partnered with the State of Illinois and the American Lung Association (ALA) in Illinois to offer incentive programs that add to fuel choice at the pump. Those programs are even timelier when one considers that efforts underway in Chicago and Springfield to bring the clean air benefits of higher ethanol blends to consumers.

“We know that higher ethanol blends are an important part of the clean air formula,” said Angela Tin, Vice-President of Environmental Health at ALA in Illinois.  “These federal funds will go a long way in leveraging the State and corn checkoff monies to add more dispensers capable of pumping higher ethanol blends.”

“Illinois Corn Growers Association looks forward to working with Governor Rauner and his staff to make a competitive application for the USDA funds,” Hartman added.