Today Growth Energy, the policy arm of POET Biorefining and their partners, called on Congress and the EPA to make changes in the nation’s renewable fuels policy that would move the “blend wall” of 10% ethanol in our unleaded gasoline supply. General Wesley Clark, the organization’s new spokesman, presented a waiver request at the National Press Club this morning that would allow higher blend rates in unleaded gas.
In response, both the National and Ohio Corn Growers Association announced their support of higher blend rates. Our friends at OCGA provided the following information:
Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA) stands behind efforts to raise the amount of ethanol blended into unleaded gasoline. OCGA is in support of the industry’s efforts to move to higher blends. The following are important FAQs on the issue:
Q: Does OCGA support the waiver?
A: OCGA supports the ethanol industry’s efforts to move beyond the 10% blend wall. We understand overcoming this hurdle will require sound science and a transparent process.
Q: So is that a “yes?”
A: OCGA’s policy, which was recently approved by delegates on February 28, 2009 states, “We will work with all partners in the ethanol industry to create a unified strategy to expand ethanol usage and production.”
Q: Some are saying growers can’t produce enough corn to meet potential market demand. What do you say to that?
A: America’s corn growers have far surpassed the demand for corn by the ethanol industry. Growers will continue to meet the growing demands of food, feed, fuel and fiber in an economical and environmentally responsible manner. Corn yields have doubled since 1970 and in the past two growing years alone we have seen record high production.
Q: What about using more land, more resources to meet these needs?
A: Corn production is continually evolving and we expect even greater improvements in sustainability and efficiency in the years to come. Today, it takes an estimated 40% less land and approximately half the energy to produce a bushel of corn than it did in 1987. Our growers will continue to meet increasing demand in an economical and environmentally responsible manner.
Q: Why is moving toward higher blends so important? Why do you support it?
A: OCGA supports the regulatory process to explore increasing the blend rate through sound science and a transparent process. OCGA would like to highlight the important impact that farmer-owned, homegrown fuel production has in bringing opportunities to rural America. We must continue to replace foreign oil with domestically produced renewable energy.
Q: What is the timing on this waiver?
A: The regulatory process is often lengthy. We can only say with certainty that by law EPA has up to 270 days to respond with a final decision.