EPA’s decision to maintain the status quo on the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is probably not the end of the story.
Livestock groups and others will likely step up their efforts to convince Congress to make changes to the ethanol mandates in the RFS. National Chicken Council spokesman Tom Super says all options are on the table.
“If the worst drought in over 50 years, coupled with the RFS, is not cause for that safety valve to get triggered—then the law is broken,” Super says.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president J.D. Alexander agrees.
“We are very disappointed with the fact that they didn’t follow through on the agreement we had many years ago, when this situation would occur—low stocks, high prices of corn, drought situation,” Alexander says. “The agreement back then was that if something like this were to happen, they would be able to allow the waiver of this.”
But Bob Dinneen of the Renewable Fuels Association doubts a congressional challenge will gain much traction.
“Because in any objective review of this program, it has been an unmitigated success,” says Dinneen, “in terms of its ability to reduce our dependence on imported oil—in terms of the success it has meant to rural America where you’ve seen real economic development—and in terms of the environmental benefits that accrue as a result of increased use of domestic, renewable fuels.
“So I look forward to a debate.”