EPA Refuses to Waive Renewable Fuels Standard


The following is from the Associated Press:


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has denied requests from several governors to waive production requirements for corn-based ethanol.  A renewable fuels law requires that 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol be produced this year.


That's good for corn farmers, but it's angered poultry, hog and cattle farmers. They say they've seen big jumps in corn-based feed costs as corn is diverted to make ethanol vehicle fuel.


States requesting the waiver say reduced corn production due to this year's drought has made the problem even worse.


The EPA says it studied the effect of waiving the requirement and believes it would have had little impact on corn prices.


Among the states asking for help are Arkansas and North Carolina.



The following is a response from the American Coalition for Ethanol:


Sioux Falls, SD  (November 16, 2012) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for denying a request from a handful of states to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).


“Despite millions of dollars spent by Big Oil and Big Food to shamelessly attack American-made ethanol, it comes as no surprise EPA denied the requests to waive the RFS because the facts are on our side,” said Brian Jennings, ACE 

Executive Vice President.  “EPA considered the flexibility built-into the RFS, precedent established in 2008, and data which proved waiving the RFS wouldn’t remedy the harm of the drought in making the right decision.”


Jennings says that comments submitted by ethanol supporters were a factor in the EPA’s decision. 


“In a strong demonstration of grassroots support for ethanol, more than 130 unique comments were submitted by ACE members from 15 different states making the case for the RFS,” said Jennings.  “Given the battle we anticipate over the RFS in Congress next year, we encourage ethanol supporters to stay engaged.  One way to remain actively involved is to join ACE for our annual ‘Biofuels Beltway March’ fly-in scheduled for March 13-14 on Capitol Hill.”


ACE members will tell the story of how the RFS benefits America during the fly-in and why it is necessary to enable consumers to have meaningful fuel choice at the pump.  For more information on ACE’s 2013 fly-in, click here.




The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is the grassroots voice of the U.S. ethanol industry, a national advocacy association for the ethanol industry with nearly 1,500 members nationwide, including farmers, ethanol producers, commodity organizations, businesses supplying goods and services to the ethanol industry, rural electric cooperatives, and individuals supportive of increased production and use of ethanol. For more information about ethanol or ACE, visit www.ethanol.org or call (605) 334-3381.



The following is a response from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association:


WASHINGTON (Nov. 16, 2012) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) expressed disappointment today after the announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied a request to waive the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandate for the production of corn ethanol.


“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 NCBA President J.D. Alexander, a cattle feeder from Pilger, Neb. “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.” 


In comments submitted by NCBA to EPA in October, NCBA stated that the cattle industry, along with other livestock groups has suffered a significant economic impact due to the RFS mandate and the drought. From December 2007 to August 2012, the cattle feeding sector of the beef industry lost a record $4 billion in equity due to high feed costs and economic factors that have negatively affected beef demand. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports, corn prices have increased about 60 percent since June 15, 2012, and the near futures price is hovering around $8 per bushel. In a report by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), 2011 feed costs for livestock, poultry and dairy reached a record high of $54.6 billion – an increase of more than $9 billion over 2010 costs. These costs are borne by cattlemen and women nationwide, according to Alexander. Further, the ending carry-over stocks for 2012-13 are now forecast at 647 million bushels, less than five percent of expected corn usage, and the lowest amount ever, according to USDA reports. This is a 35 percent decrease from last year’s carry-over amount. If realized this would means there would be very limited corn reserves for next year should the country experience another poor crop. 


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. These losses are driven by drought and high input costs.


“Our message to EPA and Administrator Jackson is how bad does it have to get for livestock producers before relief is brought to rural America? Cattlemen and women are only asking for a level playing field,” Alexander said. “With EPA’s refusal to grant a waiver when faced with these conditions, it is clear the RFS is not working as Congress intended.”   





The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has represented America's cattle producers since 1898, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education and public policy.  As the largest association of cattle producers, NCBA works to create new markets and increase demand for beef.  Efforts are made possible through membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or membership@beef.org. 




Source:  AP, ACE, & NCBA

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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