For Immediate Release Contact: John Hansen 402-476-8815
June 25, 2015
NeFU Testifies at EPA RFS Hearing in Kansas City
Kansas City, KS: Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) Vice President Vern Jantzen of Plymouth represented Nebraska Farmers Union at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing on their proposed ethanol production targets for 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Jantzen’s testimony took EPA to task for their failure to get the production targets finalized in advance of the production years, and also for the target levels themselves. In his testimony, Jantzen said:
“Timing: EPA is inexcusably late with their decision. EPA was under obligation to set the production targets, and propose and finalize the rules well before the 2014 production year began to give the ethanol industry the certainty it needs to prepare for the next year. The 2014 production year has already come and gone. The 2015 rules will not be finalized until the year is mostly over. It remains to be seen if the proposed rule is finalized before the 2016 production year begins. In our view, EPA’s failure to set production targets in advance of production years is inexcusable, and damaging to the ethanol industry by virtue of the uncertainty it creates.”
“Production levels: EPA flat out blew the setting of targets. We believe the proposed targets are not consistent with the intent of Congress. In our view, EPA bought a bogus blend wall problem argument from the oil industry. The oil industry is the source of any real or imagined blend wall problem by virtue of the fact they have failed to make higher retail ethanol blend options available to the consuming public. They have denied fuel consumers the ability to purchase E85, E30, and E15 blends, and then claim there is a blend wall problem. EPA’s proposed production targets rewards the oil industry for dragging their feet on the retailing of higher grade ethanol blends.”
“Summary: EPA’s proposed ethanol production targets are not consistent with the Administration’s efforts to reduce the carbon emissions that drive global warming, not consistent with the intent of Congress, not consistent with our nation’s efforts to improve air quality, and not consistent with the needs of production agriculture and rural America that is facing a dramatic downturn in commodity prices for corn. EPA’s proposed production targets hurt our ethanol industry, and our nation’s corn producers and the rural communities they live in. We urge EPA to pull back their proposed rule, and stick with the original legislatively set targets for 2015 and 2016. Thank you again for the opportunity to testify.”