FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Tricia Braid
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Corn Growers Association President Jeff Scates, a family farmer from Shawneetown, IL, released the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement to deny the request to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard:
“The corn farmers I represent in the Illinois Corn Growers Association have long supported the waiver process as identified in the Renewable Fuel Standard. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision today reflects a thorough review of all the appropriate data. We believe that as is indicated by EPA in their decision, the market system has done its job in this year of unfortunate heat and drought, and the subsequent increase in commodity prices across the board.
The market has signaled for less corn usage, allowing for all users of corn to make their market entry at a level appropriate for their needs. The ethanol industry can react more quickly than other users in the corn sector, and that has been apparent.
U.S. ethanol production has been reduced in response. More than 800 million gallons of production has been idled this year. In fact, two Illinois ethanol plants closed at least temporarily during this time. Ethanol exports have also reacted to the market signals, with this year’s expected exports to be in the range of 750 million gallons, down from over 1 billion gallons in 2011.
Corn-based ethanol has played an important role in the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard and its stated goal of reducing our dependence on imported oil while improving the environment. In this time of lower production, credits will be available to make up for the RFS shortfalls, while still meeting the RFS requirements. The inclusion of ethanol in our nation’s fuel supply will continue to lower prices at the pump, as well. That’s good news for all Americans.”