A coalition of meat and poultry organizations today asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to waive the federal mandate for the production of corn ethanol. In a petition delivered to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the coalition asked for a waiver "in whole or in substantial part" of the amount of renewable fuel that must be produced under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) for the remainder of this year and for the portion of 2013 that is one year from the time the waiver becomes effective.
Link to petition for waiver.
The RFS has "directly affected the supply and cost of feed in major agricultural sectors of this country, causing the type of economic harm that justifies issuance of an RFS waiver," said the coalition in its petition.
Members of the coalition that signed the petition include: American Feed Industry Association, American Meat Institute, American Sheep Industries Association, California Dairy Campaign, Dairy Producers of New Mexico, Dairy Producers of Utah, Idaho Dairymen’s Association, Milk Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, Nevada State Dairy Commission, North American Meat Association, Northwest Dairy Association, Oregon Dairy Farmers Association, Southeast Milk Inc., United Dairymen of Arizona and the Washington State Dairy Federation.
Reacting to the news, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen said, "Given the flexibilities inherent to the RFS, and the fact that waiving the program would not result in any meaningful impacts on corn prices, we fully expect Administrator Jackson to deny any waiver request. A dispassionate review of the facts can lead to only one conclusion: a waiver of the RFS would simply reward oil companies that have long sought to repeal this very important and successful program. The RFS has reduced our dependence on imported oil and saved consumers at the pump."
"The marketplace is the most efficient mechanism to ration demand, not the government, and that is already happening," Dinneen continued. Dinneen pointed out that the ethanol industry has already begun to respond to sharply higher corn prices by significantly reducing production. The industry’s consumption of corn last week was the lowest in over two years and down nearly 14% in just the last six weeks.