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CORN GROWERS DISMAYED WITH LACK OF PRESIDENTIAL COMMENTS ON ETHANOL

 CORN GROWERS DISMAYED WITH LACK
 OF PRESIDENTIAL COMMENTS ON ETHANOL
 ST. LOUIS, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- In a news conference today the president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said farmers were dismayed and puzzled that President Bush did not mention ethanol in his address at the Illinois State Fair, Aug. 23.
 "We anticipated an announcement on ethanol's role in the reformulated gasoline market (RFG)," said NCGA President Tim Trotter, a Coal City, Ill. farmer. "We can only guess why the president would visit the leading ethanol producing state and major corn growing region and not even publicly mention the word ethanol."
 National and state corn grower leadership were part of a group of farm leaders, that met with the President privately to discuss the concern over ethanol's role. They reported nothing was resolved during the meeting, but the importance of this issue to farmers was strongly reiterated to the president.
 On Aug. 5, Trotter sent a letter to President Bush asking for a ruling on the regulations for the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) by Aug. 25.
 Last week, NCGA presented EPA the results from a new air quality modeling study which reiterates that 10 percent ethanol-blended fuels perform almost identically with petroleum-derived MTBE in RFG, designed to control low level ozone (smog) in the nation's most polluted cities beginning in 1995. Results from the urban airshed model in New York, and EKMA (Empirical Kinetic Modeling Approach) airshed models in 14 other cities show similar findings to a Chicago-Milwaukee area model conducted earlier this summer. The models were performed by Systems Applications International of California, one of the nation's leading photochemical modeling firms.
 "We have done our homework. The President's decision can be based on sound science rather than politics," Trotter said.
 NCGA joined 86 other agricultural groups in providing EPA with an extensive legal and technical analysis outlining EPA's ability to allow ethanol to be included in RFG.
 A decision by President Bush to allow ethanol blends to participate in the RFG program would have positive effects for the U.S. economy, according to estimates by AUS Consultants of West Conshohocken, Pa. Nearly 166,000 jobs would be created annually from 1992 to 2005 due to escalating demand for ethanol.
 Currently, ethanol production uses about 5 percent of the nation's corn crop, which USDA currently estimates to be 8.762 billion bushels. Corn growers anticipate that market to double by 1995 with an enhanced ethanol role in CAAA. Since 1979, ethanol production in the U.S. has increased steadily. In 1992, about 400 million bushels of corn will be converted to fuel ethanol. Without a role for ethanol in RFG, corn growers anticipate corn prices could drop by an average 26 cents per bushel.
 Under a positive Administration ruling, gasoline marketers would be able to offer ethanol year-round to their customers without the cost increase of converting stations from one oxygenate to another.
 In March, ethanol producers announced a hold on more than 350 million gallons of ethanol plant expansion when EPA called into question ethanol's role as a clean air fuel.
 "Congress intended the broadest use of all oxygenates in the nation's most-air polluted cities," Trotter said. "We simply ask EPA and the president to let the market decide which oxygenate will be the product of choice."
 NCGA is a national commodity association with more than 26,000 members in 45 states and 23 affiliated state corn grower associations.
 -0- 8/24/92
 /CONTACT: Debbie Rudin or Robin Johnston of the National Corn Growers Association, 314-275-9915/ CO: National Corn Growers Association ST: Missouri IN: FOD SU:


RM -- SF007 -- 2760 08/24/92 17:27 EDT
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Date:Aug 24, 1992
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