The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s newly released regulations implementing an expanded federal Renewable Fuel Standard are significant because they provide further evidence of corn ethanol’s superiority over conventional gasoline when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, the National Corn Growers Assn. said.

“We’re pleased the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes that corn ethanol provides a distinct advantage over conventional gasoline when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, with a reduction of more than 21 percent in some cases,” said NCGA President Darrin Ihnen. “This means that all corn ethanol including existing grandfathered capacity and new production will qualify to meet the conventional biofuels targets in the RFS.

NCGA continues to be disappointed that EPA chose to use the flawed theory of international indirect land use change in their calculations. Ihnen stressed that the EPA should reject the unproven theory of international indirect land use change, which assumes that growing more corn means planting corn on a proportionately greater amount of acreage and will impact other crops or natural resources on a global basis. Today’s yield trends show this to be false. 2009’s record corn yield was 165.2 bushels per acre, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 11 bushels higher than 2008 and nearly 15 bushels higher than 2007.

“In 2009, corn growers were challenged with one of the worst growing season in generations, and we still brought in a record crop and yield,” Ihnen, a corn grower in Hurley, S.D., said. “We grew more corn than we did in 2007, the last record year, and we did so on nearly 7 million fewer acres.”

Further, the idea of international indirect land use is applied only in the case of corn ethanol. “This is the perfect example of bad science being applied unfairly, “ Ihnen said. “Removing the impacts from the international indirect land use theory means that corn ethanol actually provides a 52 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, compared to gasoline. The EPA is not considering similar indirect impacts of petroleum-based fuels, so why are they so stringent when it comes to green, renewable corn ethanol?”

NCGA works closely with all interested parties in promoting the importance of corn ethanol as a market for its members and an important part of our nation’s domestic energy sector, Ihnen added.

“U.S. corn growers are committed to continuing to meet all needs for their product in a sustainable fashion and we’re committed to providing a domestic, renewable fuel that supports our nation’s economy and helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association represents 35,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide. NCGA and its 48 affiliated state organizations work together to create and increase opportunities for their members and their industry.