The National Corn Growers Association strongly opposes a bill that was introduced in the U.S. Senate in July, referred to as the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act,” which would remove the implied conventional biofuel blending requirement from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), increasing harmful emissions and use of fossil fuels.
“This bill is ill conceived and would have a devastating impact on air quality, the diversity of our energy supply, fuel prices and rural economies,” said John Linder, NCGA president. “Blending ethanol into the fuel supply is one of the most effective ways to lower carbon emissions to combat climate change and replace the most toxic components of gasoline.”
Today’s corn growers sustainably produce more corn on less land with fewer resources than when the RFS was enacted and are committed to further improvements in sustainability. These extraordinary results have been accomplished as food price inflation has decreased as ethanol production has grown.
“The RFS has been an incredibly successful policy, thanks to the innovation and contributions of corn farmers,” Linder said. “If you want to understand today’s sustainable corn and ethanol production, you can always ask a farmer for the facts. If Members of Congress want to reduce use of the low carbon renewable fuels that have enabled successful environmental policies, this bill would certainly do it.”
NCGA continues to point out to lawmakers that:
- Corn production has doubled while primary nutrients per bushel have been cut in half. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data, planted corn acres in 2021 were less than planted acres in 2007, the year the RFS was expanded. Corn production has increased because crop yields have increased from an average of 150 bushels per acre in 2007 to 172 bushels in 2020 (average production in 1980 was only 91 bushels per acre).
- Through advances in science, technology and precision equipment, growers are focused more than ever on improving resiliency and efficiency. Building on past achievements, U.S. corn growers are committed to further sustainability achievements by 2030.
- The Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory GREET model shows ethanol’s carbon intensity is 44 to 52% lower than gasoline’s carbon intensity, and Argonne has found that the carbon intensity of corn-based ethanol has declined 23% since 2005.
- Ethanol displaces the most harmful compounds in gasoline that cause respiratory and cardiovascular harm, according to the American Lung Association. According to EPA data, as ethanol blending increased from one percent to at least 10%, aromatics’ share of gasoline volume dropped from nearly 25% to 19.3%.