American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle released the following statement upon annoucements that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack had declared more than half of U.S. counties as disaster areas due to the record drought affecting U.S. farmers.
A dramatically reduced corn crop has caused prices to rise by about 60 percent since mid-June, and other grain prices are steadily increasing. To meet current renewable fuel standards, American refiners will have to blend 13.2 billion gallons of corn ethanol with gasoline this year, an amount that will consume 40 percent of this year’s reduced crop unless EPA grants an immediate waiver.
“In addition to hurting America’s farmers, this year’s record drought has exposed another great flaw with EPA’s renewable fuel standards. Not only do EPA regulations force American consumers to purchase more expensive fuel that generates lower mileage per gallon, these regulations now threaten to consume 40 percent of our nation’s corn crop at a time when the USDA has designated more than half of U.S. counties as ‘disaster areas’ because of the drought,” Pyle said.
“EPA Administrator Jackson should announce an immediate cease-fire in the administration’s war on affordable energy and suspend the agency’s enforcement of ethanol mandates. Food costs — like fuel costs — are already a heavy burden to American families. Continued EPA enforcement of renewable fuel standards will only add to that burden. To provide greater certainty for American farmers and food producers, Congress should take steps to eliminate the ethanol mandate permanently, so that Americans do not find themselves in a similar crisis during the next dry spell.”