A new website by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn’t satisfy all sides of the hardship waiver issue under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The National Corn Growers Association called the website a “good place to start,” but says there is “a lot of questions left unanswered.” The EPA launched the website last week, as acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler cited the move as an effort to increase transparency. Still, NCGA says the new website does not provide the justification for granting a refinery waiver. Further, NCGA President Kevin Skunes, a North Dakota farmer, says without a change in how EPA accounts for those exempted gallons at EPA, “ those waived gallons will still be lost from RFS obligations”.
The agency says it granted 49 waivers in 2016 and 2017. Those waivers added up to 2.25 billion gallons in biofuels, which negatively affected roughly 800 million bushels of corn demand.
Skunes says corn farmers are “still waiting for a plan to ensure exemptions are accounted.”
Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.