The Environmental Protection Agency today issued a request for public comment on letters seeking a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard, a government mandate on ethanol production. The EPA will allow interested parties 30 days to submit comments.
In addition to letters from a group of U.S. Senators and Representatives, four governors (Mike Beebe, Ark.; Beverly Perdue, N.C.; Martin O'Malley, Md.; Jack Markell, Del.) have issued letters to the EPA opposing the RFS. A coalition of livestock groups are also in support of an RFS waiver.
Recent attention regarding the RFS has largely centered on the severe drought that is plaguing many corn-growing states. Though final yield has not been determined, yield estimates from the USDA are low, and livestock groups say a limited corn supply due to drought will not satisfy all needs, cause corn prices to rise and therefore inflate feed costs.
Corn growers maintain that because final yields have not yet been determined, it is impossible to tell what the corn supply will and will not support. And, a recent study by Purdue University found that a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard would have little immediate impact on corn prices and the corn supply, unless ideal conditions within the ethanol industry were present.
Read the entire request for comment document here.
Read more about the RFS debate: