Grassroots efforts demand action in response to EPA waivers

The power of grassroots efforts came through last week when Minnesota’s corn farmers submitted more than 700 comments, over 300 to both President Trump and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), demanding actions are taken to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The passionate response from the ag community followed news in late July that the EPA would approve 31 small refinery waivers, removing an additional 1.43 billion gallons of U.S. biofuels from the nation’s supply. Total biofuel gallons removed since 2016 exceeded four billions gallons with the latest round of waivers.

MCGA’s two-fold call-to-action included contacting President Trump asking he keeps his promise to stop the EPA’s issuing of refinery waivers and uphold the RFS. Farmers also reached out to the EPA as part of the comment period for the latest Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO). Comments stressed that any waived gallons through small refinery exemptions are accounted for in the RVO.

In addition to comments by the National Corn Growers Association, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) submitted comments on the 2020 RVO stressing any gallons waived need to be redistributed in the RVO. Citing the billions of gallons already removed through retroactive refinery waivers, MCGA President Brian Thalmann said the proposed volume of 15 billion conventional biofuel gallons is meaningless if refinery waivers are not accounted for in the volume totals.

“There is little confidence in the volumes EPA proposes for 2020 since the EPA has granted 85 retroactive RFS exemptions for refineries totaling 4.04 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons for the 2016 through 2018 compliance years. These RFS waivers have significantly outpaced annual increases in RFS volume requirements, taking RFS volume requirements backward,” Thalmann said as part of MCGA’s submitted comments.

To see the full comments, click here.

As a grassroots organization, MCGA depends on its members to elevate the issues that are impacting corn farmers. Thank you to all members who took action and made their voice heard to stop ethanol demand destruction.

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