MCGA’s Thalmann defends the RFS in EPA hearing on waivers

(MCGA Chairman Brian Thalmann (second from right) testified at the EPA hearing today)

Minnesota Corn Growers Association Chairman Brian Thalmann testified in Ypsilanti, Mich., earlier today calling on the EPA to follow the law and accurately account for expected refinery waivers in the 2020 RFS volume rule. Thalmann testified on behalf of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) as a member of NCGA’s Ethanol Action Team.

Thalmann interrupted harvest work on his Plato farm to testify in the EPA hearing to review the agency’s supplemental proposal to the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking. He stressed the need for the EPA to account for actual gallons waived in the rule, rather than only accounting for waivers based on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recommendations. Over the last two years, the EPA has consistently waived nearly twice as much as DOE has recommended.

“We’re in the thick of harvest and, quite frankly, I would rather be in the field. But the issue we’re discussing today is too important to corn farmers like me not to be here. I have a simple message – when it comes the Renewable Fuel Standard, we need EPA to follow the law. As farmers, we follow rules put in place by state and federal agencies, including the EPA. We are simply asking EPA to do the same for us,” Thalmann said.

Since early 2018, EPA has granted 85 RFS exemptions to refineries, which effectively reduced the blending of biofuels by 4.04 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons. Thalmann testified actual gallons waived need to be accounted for in the volume rule to prevent even more ethanol demand destruction.

“Good intentions don’t provide certainty. Without a binding commitment that the RFS will be kept whole, this rule gives EPA free rein to change direction any time,” Thalmann said.

Minnesota’s corn farmers are asked to contact the EPA and demand it follows through on its commitment to the RFS. Make your voice heard today by clicking here.

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