Corn and Ethanol Groups Respond to RFS Waiver Request

Cindy Zimmerman

Corn growers would rather see a waiver request than attempts to eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) but the ethanol industry thinks it will still be denied by EPA.

In response to the request for a waiver announced this morning by livestock and poultry groups, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Garry Niemeyer of Illinois called it “premature to ask for a waiver of the RFS right now,” but better than asking for a change in the law. “With the crop still in the field, it is too early to determine this year’s final corn supply. In addition, the ethanol industry now has a significant surplus of ethanol and RFS credits that can greatly offset ethanol’s impact on the corn supply,” he said. “However, we recognize the severe impact of the drought on our farmers and our customers, here and abroad, with livestock, poultry, ethanol and other processing facilities, and we believe the flexibility of the RFS does work, and will work. NCGA also supports the waiver process that is embodied in the current RFS, and respects the right of those that may file a waiver petition to do so.”

Ethanol industry organizations are opposed to a waiver of the RFS requirements and expect that EPA will ultimately deny the request. “Given the flexibilities inherent to the RFS, and the fact that waiving the program would not result in any meaningful impacts on corn prices, we fully expect Administrator Jackson to deny any waiver request,” said Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen. “A dispassionate review of the facts can lead to only one conclusion: a waiver of the RFS would simply reward oil companies that have long sought to repeal this very important and successful program.”

“Higher corn process facing livestock and poultry users is a result of Mother Nature, not ethanol,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “To try and blame the ethanol industry is disingenuous and absurd. We have never run out of corn and this year will be no different. While there is no doubt this year’s crop yield will be reduced, it is premature and irresponsible to blame ethanol for a lack of rain.”

Corn, Ethanol, Growth Energy, NCGA, RFA