U.S. senators and House representatives have called on the Environmental Protection Agency to adjust the corn-ethanol mandate for the Renewable Fuel Standard due to the continuing severe drought, according to reports.
Their request joins an existing coalition of livestock, poultry, meat, dairy and feed organizations that has already delivered a petition to the EPA asking for a waiver “in whole or in substantial part” of the amount of renewable fuel that must be produced under the Renewable Fuel Standard for the remainder of 2012 and for the portion of 2013 that is one year from the time the waiver becomes effective. “As stressful weather conditions continue to push corn yields lower and prices upward, the economic ramifications for consumers, livestock and poultry producers, food manufacturers and foodservice providers will become more severe,” said the senators. “We ask you to adjust the corn grain-ethanol mandate of the RFS to reflect this natural disaster and these new market conditions. Doing so will help to ease supply concerns and provide relief from high corn prices.”
The representatives say that another short corn crop would be devastating to the animal agriculture industry, food manufacturers, foodservice providers and consumers. Both the senate and the representatives have gained the support of the coalition. “We appreciate that these representatives have fully grasped the scope of this crisis,” said National Turkey Federation President Joel Brandenberger. “Anything other than immediate action would be a blatant disregard for the petition process of the RFS. The emergency is happening now, today."