The National Corn Growers Association has submitted formal comments to the California Air Resources Board pointing out flaws in the group's proposed low carbon fuel standard. NCGA says the proposed standard could severely harm the domestic biofuels industry and increase reliance on foreign oil.
"America's corn growers are eager to play a central role in the decarbonization of transportation fuel," said NCGA President Bob Dickey. "However, if adopted as currently proposed, the standard will uniformly dissuade the production and use of all forms of biofuels that utilize land and undercut what is a tremendous opportunity to spur economic growth in agricultural communities and reduce carbon emissions with American farming."
Dickey says the proposal, which will be decided in hearings this week in Sacramento, fails in several ways. For one, it ignores the great growth in corn production per acre expected to take place in the coming decade. The proposal shows no growth in yield through 2015, although many experts believe annual yield increases may average 2.5% or more into the future.
"Using yield data updated only through last year, the proposal's analysis through 2015 assumes no growth in yield," Dickey said. "This is like assuming we will all use the same computer and same technology in 2015 that we're now using."
The proposal also factors in emissions resulting from indirect land use. With increasing yields Dickey says the assumed shift of acreage not currently in crop production to crops is not necessary. In fact field corn acres are projected to decrease for the second year in a row.