The Iowa Corn Growers Association said the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement amounts to another non-decision on a high-priority issue that impacts Iowa farmers and America’s economy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it will not be finalizing the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes before the end of the year.  The Renewable Fuel Standard, enacted by Congress in 2005 and updated in 2007, requires oil companies to provide consumers access to renewable fuels, like ethanol, on a volume-based percentage, compared to petroleum-based products.

“Last year, EPA proposed changing the methodology for calculating the RFS, even though Congress had put very clear instructions into the law,” said Iowa Corn Growers Association President Jerry Mohr, of Eldridge. Mohr said the positive part about EPA’s latest announcement is that it leaves the 2013 methodology for calculating the RFS in place.

The Iowa and National Corn Growers Associations had opposed EPA’s efforts to the proposed 2014 changes in methodology, because the changes would have restricted consumers’ access to choosing ethanol at the pump.

“EPA’s latest announcement shows that even they knew their 2014 proposal was unworkable. But it also creates more uncertainty for Iowa corn farmers and those who produce essential renewable fuels like ethanol from corn,” Mohr said. “At a time when Iowa farmers are producing back-to-back record corn crops, we need EPA to uphold the law passed by Congress, to increase access to clean, renewable fuels like ethanol and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil,” he said.

According to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), America’s renewable fuel production has more than tripled since the bipartisan RFS went into effect in 2005, reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil to its lowest level in more than 25 years, and building a homegrown industry that supports more than 850,000 American workers. 

“Because renewable fuels create a value-added market for corn, the Iowa Corn Growers Association has vigorously supported the Renewable Fuels Standard as a high priority for years,” Mohr said. “Renewable fuels like ethanol reduce our dependence on foreign oil and are essential to the health of Iowa’s rural economy, and to meet the fuel needs of consumers across the nation.”

Members of the Iowa Corn Growers Association have championed grassroots support for the RFS, communicating with elected officials, regulators, and policy makers across the country, and rallying thousands of letters of support to the Administration and members of Congress from Iowa corn farmers.