Nebraska corn growers have lobbied Washington to maintain the ethanol mandate and not lower it as proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Nebraska Corn Growers Association President Joel Grams of Minden says a rollback on the mandate of how much biofuels must be blended into gasoline would be a big blow to the state economy.
“Ethanol is a big part of the state. We’re the second leading ethanol producer in the United States and it’s a big deal to Nebraska agriculture and Nebraska as a state,” Grams tells Ken Anderson with Brownfield Ag News.
Grams joined 150 speakers at an EPA hearing in Washington to protest the EPA proposal to cut the amount of renewable fuels in 2014 to 15.2 billion, three billion gallons below a Congressional mandate set in 2007.
Grams says the growth of the ethanol industry has spurred economic growth in Nebraska.
“Brings in a lot of revenue and a lot of taxes, provides a lot of jobs, especially in the rural economy. It would be sad to see that be rolled back.”
Congress approved the Renewable Fuel Standard law in 2007. It requires refiners to buy alternative fuels made from corn, soybeans and other products.
Under the proposed change, traditional biofuels, comprised mostly of corn, would be reduced to 13 billion gallons from 14.4 billion. The EPA is in a 60-day comment period, required before federal regulations are finalized.
The oil industry favors the change. It calls the Renewable Fuel Standard outdated.
Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News, contributed to this story.