EPA seeks input on ethanol mandate waiver requests

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said it has begun weighing requests to suspend the U.S. ethanol mandate, which requires refiners to blend ethanol into gasoline, and is seeking public feedback.

The governors of North Carolina and Arkansas asked the agency last week to temporarily waive the U.S. quota on ethanol made from corn, because the worst drought in 50 years has driven corn prices higher and hurt livestock producers who depend on the grain for feed.

The EPA asked on Monday for public comment on the need for an ethanol waiver. The 30-day comment period will begin once the notice is published in the Federal Register.

“This notice is in keeping with EPA’s commitment to an open and transparent process to evaluate requests the agency receives under the Clean Air Act, and does not indicate any predisposition to a specific decision,” agency spokeswoman Alisha Johnson said in a statement.

By law the agency has until November 13 to make a decision on the waivers, meaning EPA could act on the requests after national elections on November 6.

Aimed at reducing U.S. reliance on foreign oil, the Renewable Fuels Standard, or RFS, would require 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol to be made from corn this year.

The EPA is seeking input on whether the RFS would severely hurt the economies of Arkansas, North Carolina or any other part of the United States and what effect a waiver would have on ethanol demand and corn prices.

The agency is also asking, if a waiver is needed, how much should the mandate be eased and when should it apply.

Reuters

The mandate should be rescinded and never applied.

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One response to “EPA seeks input on ethanol mandate waiver requests

  1. “The mandate should be rescinded and never applied.”

    I agree. But I think Congress should do it – now.

    “By law the agency has until November 13 to make a decision on the waivers.” Congress can act NOW.
    Waiting three months in our current situation is government FAIL.

    BTW . . . I played golf with a man from Iowa the other day. I asked him what people there thought of the ethanol mandate. He said, “They love it!” He said the farmers he knows all sell their entire crop into ethanol production, and they get great money for it. The Iowans love having the extra money in their economy.
    So as bad as it is for America, and the world, Iowans want it continued. Enough that votes will be in the balance.

    I’m afraid the Republican House will not do the right thing and try to scuttle this mess.

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