The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is reaching out to President Donald Trump requesting he maintain his support and the integrity of the Renewal Fuel Standard (RFS). “Rural America supported President Trump last year at the polls, and now it’s time for him to support rural America,” states Kevin Skunes, NCGA president.
NCGA believes policy changes that undermine the RFS will hurt farmers economically, cause renewable fuel plant jobs, and have an overall negative impact on rural America. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2018 net farm income is forecast to decline an additional $4.3 billion in 2018 — an almost 7 percent reduction from 2017 levels. “This will represent the lowest net farm income, in nominal dollars, since 2008, and is a 50 percent decline in net farm income since 2013,” says Skunes.
The NCGA letter, sent to Trump on Feb. 26, disputes claims by an East Coast refinery that the RFS is to blame for its recent bankruptcy. “Mismanagement of a single refinery should not be used as an excuse for undoing 10 years of sound policy,” adds Skunes.
The Environmental Protection Agency last year concluded that Renewable Identification Number values, which are assigned to each batch of biofuel to track its production, use, and trading, are not causing economic hardships on refiners. “The reality is, most refiners are reporting double-digit profit increases,” adds Skunes.
The NCGA letter asked the president not to undermine the RFS and risk putting farmers in an even more difficult economic situation than what they are in currently. “There is a win-win here, but it means following the intent of the RFS and increasing the supply of RINs through regulatory parity for E15 and higher blends of ethanol to lower values, as well as bringing more transparency to the trading system,” concludes Skunes.
To see the letter NCGA sent to President Trump, click on this link: http://bit.ly/2FAuRNT.