Letter: Young trying to protect future of corn ethanol

From: Mark Brown and Travis DeFries, Valero ethanol plant managers

Linden, Mount Vernon

Mike Buis suggests in his letter that U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., is turning his back on farmers for trying to fix the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). We respectfully disagree.

Corn ethanol has become a vital part of America’s transportation fuel mix, and we would like it to stay that way. Corn ethanol is used because of the efficiency of the U.S. corn farmer and the efficiency of the U.S. ethanol producer. Corn ethanol doesn’t need to be fixed. The RFS needs to be fixed, and that is why Young is working to protect our interests by ensuring that the RFS is reformed the right way.

And make no mistake: Reform is coming.

The volumes of cellulosic and advanced biofuels required by the RFS have not been met for several years, and the EPA is legally required to look at whether future mandated volumes need to be adjusted. This analysis is almost certain to result in a revision to the RFS, maybe even to the volume of corn ethanol.

It is also clear that RFS compliance costs are out of control because of market manipulation and fraud, a trend punctuated by the fact that these costs are doing nothing to increase the use of corn ethanol. High compliance costs are simply giving corn ethanol a bad name and distorting the free market where corn ethanol is economic.

We can sit back and watch the coming RFS reform or we can proactively improve it. We applaud Sen. Todd Young for doing the hard work needed to protect corn ethanol’s future.