The EPA recently snubbed the Renewable Fuel Standard with a revision to the rule that would cut corn ethanol obligations by 3.75 billion gallons over three years -- equivalent to a billion and a half bushels in lost corn demand.
We can't help but ask why?
Perhaps the EPA has forgotten the RFS is working.
It's helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, ethanol lowered CO2-equivalent GHG emissions from transportation by 39.6 million metric tons -- akin to removing 8.4 million cars from the road.
The RFS has helped reduce imported oil. With 14.3 billion gallons of domestic ethanol used in the U.S. last year, our net import oil dependence was lowered to 28 percent, but otherwise would have stood at 35 percent.
The RFS and ethanol have also provided an economic boost, particularly in rural America. Additionally, the RFS has spurred investment and innovation, resulting in ethanol-production processes that are continually more efficient and advances in next-generation and cellulosic biofuels, and it has led to an increase in locally produced ethanol on the market that's helped lower gasoline prices for U.S. consumers.
Meanwhile, today's farmers are doing their part, ensuring that adequate corn supplies are available for use in biofuels, food and other purposes, while also carrying over 1.5 to 2.5 billion bushels annually.
The EPA must be reminded that the RFS is working as intended.
The deadline to comment to the EPA regarding its misguided RFS rule is July 27. I encourage fellow producers and others concerned to speak up. Learn more about how to submit comments to the EPA at www.ncga.com/rfs.
The aquatics area at Bill Heddles Recreation Center continues to be closed as staff awaits the arrival of new lighting equipment and wiring.
"We are moving forward on this repair as fast as supplies will allow us to," said recreation director Wilma Erven.