Corn Growers Upset Over New EPA Ethanol Recommendations

Corn Growers Upset Over New EPA Ethanol Recommendations

Say lower ethanol use requirements will hit corn growers hard.
WTVO/WQRF -- Corn Growers are upset over an EPA proposal which lowers the required used of corn-based ethanol and other biofuels in gasoline at 13 billion gallons, significantly below this year's requirement of 13.8 billion gallons.

The National Corn Growers Association says the impact many corn growers could be dire.  NCGA President Martin Barbre said in a news release, “Agriculture has been a bright spot in a failing U.S. economy, but current corn prices are below the cost of production. EPA’s ruling would be devastating for family farmers and the entire rural economy.”

Supporters of decision, however, note that biofuels other than corn-based ethanol were supposed to be a larger percentage of the biofuel picture, but have not developed because corn has dominated biofuel production.  The Union of Concerned Scientists, which supports the recommendation, saying, "the new targets will help ensure that biofuels do not come into conflict with food supplies and allow non-food biofuels to play an important role in cutting oil use."

The Corn Growers Association notes however that corn ethanol has become the predominant biofuel in part because of its cheap cost.  It notes that this year's harvest is expected to be a record 14 billion bushels, already pushing down corn prices.  Less ethanol production, they argue, would depress corn prices further while potentially raising the price of a gallon of gasoline.

Another factor in play in ethanol is the declining demand for gasoline in the United States due to more fuel efficient cars and a decline gas use due to the lingering effects of the recession.

The EPA recommendations must be reviewed by Congress.

You can read the news release from the NCGA here:
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