Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has become the latest to petition the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting that the Renewable Fuel Standard be waived in light of the current drought plaguing the Midwest.
The University of Georgia has reported that the state’s poultry producers are spending $1.4 million extra per day on corn due to the drought and the upward pressure on corn prices caused by the demand created by the Renewable Fuel Standard for ethanol. This translates to over $516 million per year if these market conditions continue, said Deal. “It is abundantly clear that substantial evidence exists now within the existing reports of the [U.S. Department of Agriculture] regarding expected crop yields and within private sector forecasts of crop yields that current and futures pricing of corn will result in severe economic harm in the poultry and livestock sectors,” he said. “It can also be reasonably projected that this harm will continue well into 2013, if not beyond 2013, and that the decreasing availability of stocks of grains will only be eased when a new crop season provides an abundance of supply.”
Deal is the fifth governor to request that the agency waive the Renewable Fuel Standard, joining the governors of Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina and Arkansas. His petition comes just a day after the Environmental Protection Agency said it is issuing a Federal Register notice opening a 30-day public comment period on waiving the Renewable Fuel Standard requirements. This statute provides the agency with 90 days in which to make a decision.