Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez Tuesday urged Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to use her existing waiver authority as soon as possible to adjust the corn-ethanol mandate for the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), becoming the fifth and sixth governors to make such a request, according to the American Meat Institute.
Governor Deal’s letter notes, “In addition to the direct economic harm from the drought within the border of our state, Georgia is heavily dependent on grain produced in other states to support its poultry and livestock industries. Severe economic harm is therefore being caused by the applicable volume requirements of the RFS, and a waiver of this requirement is fully justified under section 211(o)(7) of the CAA (42 U.S.C 7545(o)(7).
Governor Martinez’s petition states, “To help alleviate the negative impacts caused by the severe drought conditions, I urge you to consider granting an immediate waiver from the RFS. Approving this waiver would help ease the burden of increased feed costs, food products supply and the continued hardships current economic conditions are inflicting on producers and consumers alike.”
Governors Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Jack Markell of Delaware, Mike Beebe of Arkansas and Beverly Perdue of North Carolina have made similar requests. They join a growing chorus that has pushed for a waiver of the federal mandate for the production of corn ethanol, including a bipartisan group of 156 members of the House of Representatives as well as 34 senators.
A large coalition of livestock, poultry, meat, dairy and feed organizations also recently delivered a petition to Jackson asking for a waiver “in whole or in substantial part” of the amount of renewable fuel that must be produced under the RFS for the remainder of this year and for the portion of 2013 that is one year from the time the waiver becomes effective.
August’s crop report released by USDA shows U.S. corn supplies for 2012-2013 will hit a nine-year low due to the nation’s record-breaking drought and other factors, which will drive record corn prices even higher. According to the crop report, corn is projected at a record $7.50 to $8.90 per bushel, up sharply from the $5.40 to $6.40 per bushel projected in July.
Governor Deal’s full request is available here: http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Letter-to-Lisa-P-Jackson-Petition-for-Waiver.pdf.
Governor Martinez’s full request is available here: http://www.meatami.com/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/80562.