What is in this article?:
- EPA denies Renewable Fuels Standard waiver request
- Cheers and boos
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not grant a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandate requested by several state governors and backed by ranchers, dairies and poultry operations.
- EPA failed to find “evidence to support … severe ‘economic harm’ that would warrant granting a waiver."
- Swift reactions to EPA finding.
Cheers and boos
Among those applauding the EPA waiver denial:
- National Sorghum Producers.
“Sorghum has vast potential and can play an important role in supporting American energy independence,” said Terry Swanson, National Sorghum Producers Chairman. “Maintaining the RFS will help to ensure this potential is met by continuing to provide a sustainable market for renewable fuels. The RFS has spurred job creation and promoted growth in our rural economies, and the sorghum industry stands ready to become a critical component in America’s energy solution.”
- The Advanced Ethanol Council.
“Waiving the RFS would have done little if anything to reduce grain prices, but would have hurt consumers at the pump and undercut investment in advanced biofuels,” said Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Ethanol Council. “Congress was right to protect the RFS from specious and politically-motivated waiver arguments, and to include in the program explicit flexibility provisions that allow the standard to adjust to changing market conditions. The RFS is well-designed and is the primary reason why the United States has emerged as the global leader in the development of advanced biofuels. There will be other stalking horses advanced by the oil industry to weaken the RFS, but it is a step in the right direction to put this one behind us.”
- The National Corn Growers Association.
“We believe (EPA) administrator Jackson appropriately recognized petitioners did not properly prove severe nationwide economic harm had occurred thereby creating no justification for a waiver of the RFS,” said Pam Johnson, NCGA president. “The ethanol industry plays a pivotal role in job creation throughout the country supporting over 400,000 jobs nationwide. This includes many in ethanol plants in rural America. The RFS advances the use of domestically produced renewable fuels, encourages new technologies and enhances U.S. energy independence.”
Among groups unhappy with the EPA decision:
- The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
“In light of the most widespread drought to face the country in more than 50 years, the refusal to grant this waiver is a blatant example of the flawed policy of the RFS,” said J.D. Alexander, NCBA president. “The artificial support for corn ethanol provided for by the RFS is only making the situation worse for cattlemen and women by driving up feed costs.”
The NCBA claims “the effects of the refusal to waive the RFS will be felt throughout the economy with predictions of 500,000 head beef cow and 50,000 dairy cow liquidation in the U.S. alone in 2012.”
- The National Council of Chain Restaurants.
“The National Council of Chain Restaurants will continue to press the case to policymakers that the RFS is a flawed law which unfairly distorts the market at the expense of chain restaurants, our consumers and everyone else involved in the food supply chain,” said Rob Green, the council’s executive director.