Farmers Upset Over New EPA Ethanol Requirements

Jul 20, 2015

Credit Brandi Korte / Flickr Creative Commons

The EPA proposal to reduce ethanol requirements has raised the hackles of Kansas farmers, reports Kansas AgLand. Nearly 300 farmers rallied on Capitol Hill Wednesday to protest the measure, which would cut renewable fuel requirements by almost 4 billion gallons this year, and 5 billion next year.

The farmers argued that ethanol has been a boon to struggling rural Americans. Mike Chisam, president of Rice County's Kansas Ethanol, noted that in 2010 the Kansas ethanol industry paid $53 million in trucking fees and $750 million to Kansas farmers for their grain.

The reduced standards have been proposed because of inadequate infrastructure, such as the need for more pumps for higher blends, as well as concern about farmers’ abilities to meet demand. Chris Grundler, the EPA’s director of transportation and air quality, told The Associated Press that the current standards would be impossible for farmers to meet. “There would be widespread noncompliance, and the EPA is not in the habit of putting out standards we don’t think are achievable,” he said.