EPA Denies RFS Waiver

Cindy Zimmerman

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied a petition by the governors of poultry producing states that would have waived the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its requirement for ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.

In its decision to deny the request, EPA said Friday that the RFS itself is not causing economic harm and that suspending the standard would reduce corn prices by only 1%. “We recognize that this year’s drought has created hardship in some sectors of the economy, particularly for livestock producers,” said EPA’s Gina McCarthy in a statement. “But our extensive analysis makes clear that congressional requirements for a waiver have not been met and that waiving the RFS will have little, if any, impact.”

Ethanol and corn producers were quick to praise the announcement.

“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 American Coalition for Ethanol Executive Vice President Brian Jennings. “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.”

“The announcement by the EPA is welcome news to the renewable fuels industry and those dedicated to reducing our dependence on foreign oil, spurring investment and creating jobs right here in America,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. ““Today’s decision confirms what we knew all along – the petitioners were wrong in their belief that the RFS caused the economic harm.”

“The RFS is working as designed,” said Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen. “The flexibility that is built into the RFS allows the marketplace to ration demand, not the government. Indeed, the ethanol industry has responded to the market by reducing output by approximately 12%.”

“The National Corn Growers Association supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to deny the Renewable Fuel Standard waiver request,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson “We believe 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.”

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