Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) today became the latest governor to urge U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to use her authority to waive the volumetric requirements of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

Perry in 2008 was one of the first to recognize the unintended effects and severe economic harm caused by burning food and feed for fuel.  He then requested a waiver of the RFS mandate for ethanol derived from corn grain, citing the negative economic affects the mandate has on Texas producers, consumers and commuters.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry

“Today, I am writing in support of the recent ‘Petition for Waiver or Partial Waiver of Applicable Volume of Renewable Fuel’ by fellow governors and other leaders who formally request for you to use your discretionary authority to waive the volumetric requirements,” Perry wrote in a letter to Jackson.

Perry noted that forecasts are dire, as crop yield and overall productions are projected to be lower than anticipated.  Additionally, he said, forage availability has been severely diminished, with more than 55 percent of the country’s pastureland damaged by drought.

“Conditions regarding mandated ethanol production and the corn market are also markedly different in 2012 than 2008,” Perry continued.  “Requirements for ethanol derived from corn starch have increased more than 60 percent; meanwhile, domestic corn production in 2012 will be less than in 2008, perhaps substantially so. In the past two years, more corn has been devoted to ethanol production than used for feed grain. These factors, compounded with the fact that more than 40 percent of the U.S. annual corn supply was to be used to meet the RFS corn-based ethanol requirement, threatens the sustainability of our agriculture producers.”

Perry concluded, “The RFS may have been a well-intentioned effort to move our country toward energy independence, but it has, predictably, done much more harm than good.  Not only is it driving up grocery prices for all families, it is also putting increasing strain on businesses. Good intentions and laudable goals are small compensation to the families, farmers and ranchers who are being hurt by the federal government’s efforts to trade food for fuel.”

 

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