Calls to waive Renewable Fuels Standard gain momentum in US

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Calls to waive Renewable Fuels Standard gain momentum in US

Related tags United states environmental protection agency Beef Livestock Pork Poultry

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened a 30-day public comment period on requests to waive a portion of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

Governor Beverly Perdue of North Carolina and Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas officially petitioned the EPA to waive the quotas set by the RFS in separate letters, sent last week. The EPA said it would consult on the issue with the Departments of Agriculture and Energy and make its decision within 90 days.

Under Section 211(o)(7)(A) of the Clean Air Act, the EPA has the ability to waive the national volume requirements of the RFS, in whole or part, if it rules that implementation of the requirements would “severely harm”​ the economy or environment of a state, region or the US.

Georgia joins debate

The announcement comes as the Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, became the latest politician to request that the EPA waive the EFS. In his petition, sent to the Agency yesterday, he said: “It is abundantly clear that substantial evidence exists now within the existing reports of USDA 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.

“Georgia is experiencing severe economic harm during this crisis, and important economic sectors in the state are in serious economic jeopardy. This harm is precisely of the type, character and extent that Congress envisioned when it granted the EPA authority to waive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) applicable volumes.”

His support has been welcomed by the National Chicken Council (NCC), whose president Mike Brown said: “I am very pleased that Governor Deal has joined the many other voices and requests that EPA has received in recent weeks to waive the RFS for ethanol, including 14 of 15 members of Georgia’s congressional delegation in Washington.

“As Governor Deal noted, it is now abundantly clear that severe economic damage has occurred, and will continue, as a result of the RFS’ strain on the corn supply, which has been exacerbated by the worst drought in more than 50 years. Again, I call on EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to implement the law and grant a full, one-year waiver for the corn-ethanol mandate.”

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