OPINION The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the proposed Renewable Volume Obligation rule for 2020. Once again EPA has failed to account for lost volumes due to refinery exemptions and uphold the President’s commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

We are frustrated the EPA did not account for potential waived gallons going forward in the proposed rule. If the EPA continues to grant retroactive waivers, the Renewable Volume Obligations numbers are meaningless and the EPA is not following the law. Farmers are facing a very difficult economic environment and the continued waiver abuse chips away at farmer bottom line.

Since early 2018 the EPA has granted 53 Renewable Fuel Standard exemptions totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. There are currently 38 pending petitions for 2018.

The EPA also failed to uphold the D.C. Circuit Court’s 2017 ruling requiring the agency to account for 500 million gallons it improperly waived in 2016. There’s no reason for the EPA to not account for those gallons. It appears the EPA continues to favor big oil and not uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard. That narrative is getting old. It’s time for the EPA to follow the law to ensure the waivers do not destroy volume requirements.

The National Corn Growers Association thanks Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and his team at the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their continued support and work on this issue. Perdue has been instrumental in ensuring the voice of the American corn farmer is heard.

Visit ncga.com/topics/ethanol/nomorewaivers to see a list of the reasons why the EPA should not approve any of the 38 pending small-refinery waivers.

Lynn Chrisp, a Nebraska farmer, is president of the National Corn Growers Association, which represents almost 40,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide and the interests of more than 300,000 growers who contribute through corn-checkoff programs in their states. Visit ncga.com for more information.