Arkansas and North Carolina Governors Join Growing Chorus Calling for RFS Waiver

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

(American Meat Institute)

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe and North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue have become the third and fourth governors to urge EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to use her existing waiver authority as soon as possible to adjust the corn-ethanol mandate for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Governor Beebe’s letter states, “Virtually all of Arkansas is suffering from severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions. The declining outlook for this year’s corn crop and accelerating prices for corn and other grains are having a severe economic impact on the State, particularly on our poultry and cattle sectors. While the drought may have triggered the price spike in corn, an underlying cause is the federal policy mandating ever-increasing amounts of corn for fuel.”

Governor Perdue’s petition notes, “The imposition of a 15.2 gallon renewable fuel standard (RFS) in 2012, coupled with the prospect of a 16.55 gallon standard in 2012, has imposed severe economic harm to my state’s swine, poultry, dairy and cattle producing regions. This affects not only the economic interests of consumers and the livestock and poultry producers within my state, but also the many other industries which provide support services to this important economic sector and the benefit from economic growth and development that our robust livestock and poultry industries have provided.”

Governors Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Jack Markell of Delaware made similar requests last week. They join a growing chorus that has pushed for a waiver of the federal mandate for the production of corn ethanol, including a bipartisan group of 156 members of the House of Representatives as well as 34 Senators.

A large coalition of livestock, poultry, meat, dairy and feed organizations also recently delivered a petition to Jackson asking for a waiver “in whole or in substantial part” of the amount of renewable fuel that must be produced under the RFS for the remainder of this year and for the portion of 2013 that is one year from the time the waiver becomes effective.

Last week’s crop report released by USDA shows U.S. corn supplies for 2012-2013 will hit a nine year low due to the nation’s record-breaking drought and other factors, which will drive record corn prices even higher.    According to the crop report, corn is projected at a record $7.50 to $8.90 per bushel, up sharply from the $5.40 to $6.40 per bushel projected in July.

Governor Beebe’s full request is available here: http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Arkansas-Letter.pdf

Governor Perdue’s full request is available here: http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/RFS-NC-Waiver-Petition.pdf

 

 

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