EPA Keeps Renewable Fuels Levels in Place After Considering State Requests - EPA News Release


November 16, 2012 

EPA Keeps Renewable Fuels Levels in Place After Considering State Requests

WASHINGTON---The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that the agency has not found evidence to support a finding of severe “economic harm” that would warrant granting a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The decision is based on economic analyses and modeling done in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

“We recognize that this year’s drought has created hardship in some sectors of the economy, particularly for livestock producers,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “But our extensive analysis makes clear that Congressional requirements for a waiver have not been met and that waiving the RFS will have little, if any, impact.”

To support the waiver decision, EPA conducted several economic analyses. Economic analyses of impacts in the agricultural sector, conducted with USDA, showed that on average waiving the mandate would only reduce corn prices by approximately one percent. Economic analyses of impacts in the energy sector, conducted with DOE, showed that waiving the mandate would not impact household energy costs.

EPA found that the evidence and information failed to support a determination that implementation of the RFS mandate during the 2012-2013 time period would severely harm the economy of a State, a region, or the United States, the standard established by Congress in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct).

EPAct required EPA to implement a renewable fuels standard to ensure that transportation fuel sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel. A waiver of the mandate requires EPA, working with USDA and DOE, to make a finding of “severe economic harm” from the RFS mandate itself.

This is the second time that EPA has considered an RFS waiver request. In both cases, analysis concluded that that the mandate did not impose severe harm. In 2008, the state of Texas was denied a waiver.

More information: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/notices.htm

Wrapping Up Harvest at Green Plains Ord

By Reid Hagstrom, Grain Originator - Green Plains Ord

Students of the Ord High School Agriculture and FFA classes completed their 2012 harvest last week.  This is the 5th year of Green Plains’ agreement with the school to farm the onsite dryland field and the first year that the project was expanded to include our irrigated field as well.

Throughout the year, students partner with local vendors - equipment, seed, fertilizer, etc. - to coordinate their own production in this ‘outdoor classroom.’  Some of students class time has been spent in the field, experiencing modern farming methods of production and management, including the proper use and implementation of new technology systems such as GPS and evapo-transpiration monitoring.

Students also receive a tour of the Green Plains Ord ethanol plant. During the tour, they see how the corn they raise is converted into fuel and feed that they, or their families, might purchase, completing the full circle from agriculture to energy and back again.

Green Plains congratulates the students and advisors on another successful harvest after a very challenging growing season!

Senator Harkin and Congressman Boswell Visit Shenandoah

This afternoon, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Leonard Boswell of Iowa's 3rd district stopped by the BioProcess Algae Phase III  project at our Shenandoah, Iowa facility.

Our Phase III project is close to completion. Construction of the reactors on three of the five acres is complete and the facilites were inoculated with algae in October.

Pictured below from left to right: Thiru Viswanathan of BioProcess Algae, Senator Harkin and Congressman Boswell. 

Visit our Facebook page for more photos. 

Cornfield is classroom for Ord FFA - The Grand Island Independent

Article by Amy Schweirzer - Oct. 24, 2012

ORD -- When the Ord FFA members learn about corn pests and diseases, they don't have to rely on a picture in a book.

They have more than 80 acres of the crop they planted and cared for that provides a hands-on example.

"When the kids find a worm in the ground, they are much more excited about it than when they find the worm in the picture in a book," Cory Beran, one of Ord's FFA advisers, said with a laugh.

For three years the FFA, which currently has about 50 members, has been farming about 30 acres of dryland north of the Green Plains ethanol plant near Ord and this year the school added about 55 acres of irrigated land next to it.

The dryland field, which has been rotated in corn and soybeans, came from the Ord Economic Development Board and the irrigated field is owned by the ethanol plant.

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