The recently proposed Renewable Fuel Standards sparked a flurry of angry comments from U.S. policymakers, representatives and industry leaders.
All renewable fuels face cuts. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed to cut 3.75 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol from original 2014 through 2016 Clean Air Act standards.
In 2014 alone, it cut 1.73 billion gallons from plant-based renewable fuel.
The proposed targets were released on May 29, almost a year and a half after the 2014 targets scheduled release date.
Although below the original Clean Air Act targets, the proposed targets would “ensure continued growth in advanced biofuels,” EPA officials said.
U.S. House Agricultural Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) disagreed, saying the low targets would hinder renewable fuel production and hurt the rural economy.
“I had hoped that the long period of time EPA took to make these announcements meant that would get it right,” Peterson said. “Unfortunately, it was a mistake to think the EPA could administer this program without screwing it up.”
U.S. senators on both sides of the aisle agreed that the targets would hurt renewable fuel production.
“It’s Christmas in May for Big Oil,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement. “President Obama’s EPA continues to buy into Big Oil’s argument that the infrastructure isn’t in place to handle the fuel volumes required by law.”
Members from the National Corn Growers Association said the cuts are a tremendous loss for farmers. The association also stated it plans to take legal action.
“Once again, the EPA has chosen to ignore the law by cutting the corn ethanol obligation 3.75 billion gallons from 2014 to 2016,” read a statement from the association. “This represents nearly a billion and a half bushels in lost corn demand.”
The EPA will finalize the standards on Nov. 30.
Jerry Mohr, a farmer and president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, called for farmers to get together and speak out against the proposed standards.
“Now is a critical time for farmers to step up and engage on this issue that will significantly impact our farmers since the rule won’t be finalized until this fall,” Mohr said in a statement.