Corn Growers Praise Proposed Renewable Fuel Standard

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) praised the inclusion of a renewable fuel standard (RFS) in the Senate energy bill. The RFS was introduced on the floor of the US Senate yesterday by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and inserted into the Senate energy package in place of current language.

WASHINGTON, D.C. 2002-03-08 [SolarAccess.com] The breakthrough on the RFS came late Tuesday night as a result of several weeks of negotiations among Senate leaders headed by Daschle and a coalition of key ethanol industry, oil, and agricultural associations, including the NCGA, the Renewable Fuels Association, and the oil industry represented by the American Petroleum Institute. “This is an amazing development, but one that we have worked very hard to achieve. However, there is still much work to be done. While we have won a hard-fought victory with the inclusion of this RFS amendment in the Senate’s energy legislation we need to pass an energy bill and move on to the Conference Committee,” said NCGA President Tim Hume. Details of the agreement include a renewable fuel standard in which part of the United States’ fuel supply, growing to 5 billion gallons by 2012, is provided by renewable, domestic fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel in exchange for eliminating the oxygen requirement in reformulated gasoline. The RFS also aims to create a flexible market-based program, phase down the use of MTBE in the US gasoline market over four years, and protect the air quality gains of the RFG program. “These provisions will promote more US-sourced energy, reduce oil imports, protect the environment and stimulate rural economic development through increased production and use of domestic, renewable Fuels,” said NCGA President Tim Hume. While Hume praised inclusion of the RFS amendment in the Senate’s energy package, he said NCGA does have some concerns about the bill. “We do not think the ethanol demand is large enough in the short-run,” he explained. “However, given the language we started with in the underlying bi ll, we believe this is a very good compromise that will greatly enhance the role of ethanol in the US gasoline pool.” The NCGA has set a goal of tripling the use of corn in ethanol production within 10 years. “We worked along with the other members of the RFS coalition who have taken the lead as proponents of a renewable fuel standard in national energy legislation. I am proud of the leading role NCGA has taken and continues to take on the RFS in the Senate,” Hume said. “This could be the breakthrough we have been working for so many years.”
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