Chad Smith, NAFB News Service
The head of the National Farmers Union blasted the Environmental Protection Agency, calling it a “barrier” for reducing greenhouse gasses in biofuels. “The EPA has been the primary barrier to a lot of additional success that we can have in reducing greenhouse gasses in ethanol technology,” says Rob Larew, President of the National Farmers Union. “The story for grain-based ethanol, in general is the EPA continues to be a barrier, not only because of the waivers they’ve issued but also for barriers against higher blends.” Larew’s comments during a Senate hearing took place days after the EPA said it had received 52 new petitions from oil refiners asking for retroactive exemptions to requirements that they blend biofuels into their products. A court overturned three agency-issued waivers in January, which the EPA did not appeal. Biofuels are a complex issue as the Trump Administration struggles to balance the conflicting interests of farmers and the oil industry, two demographics that are key parts of President Trump’s base. The NFU President appeared during a Senate Ag Committee hearing on a new bipartisan bill designed to help farmers get carbon credits in exchange for sustainable farming practices.