Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"EPA rejects suspension of corn-based ethanol mandate" Christian Science Monitor

"Although about two dozen academics and scientists had testified for the waiver, it was opposed by the National Corn Growers Association.

Corn prices have quadrupled since 2005 as ethanol production has soared in response to the mandate. The trade group pointed out that the income of corn growers nationally had risen almost 50 percent since 2007, when the law took effect.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Congress should permanently waive the ethanol mandate"

"... Environmentalist groups that once supported the use of ethanol are now arguing that once accounting for land use conversion, the use of fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides, as well as the fossil fuels used for production and distribution, biofuel production has had unforeseen environmental consequences.
World hunger organizations have been especially critical of the mandate, arguing that diverting food to fuel increases corn prices. Corn is a staple product for many developing countries and is feed for livestock, so price spikes can have dramatically rippling effects."

Monday, November 19, 2012

"EPA Denial of Ethanol Mandate Waiver Will Hurt Farmers and Consumers" Environmental Working Group

“This decision should serve as a wake-up call to Congress and the White House that the Renewable Fuel Standard does not protect producers and consumers in times of hardship and must be reformed. Its reliance on mandates for food-based fuel – namely corn ethanol – exposes us to spiking prices whenever yields drop because of drought or other severe weather. The skyrocketing cost of animal feed will force 100 of California’s dairies out of business by year’s end. Overall food prices are expected to rise by as much as 4 percent in the coming months, with even greater increases for meat, poultry, milk and eggs. These mandates have also spurred the conversion of 23 million acres of environmentally sensitive wetlands and grasslands – an area the size of Indiana – to row crops, mostly corn. "

"Consumers can expect higher prices with latest EPA rejection of states requests"

"This time around the Barack Obama administration is even rejecting a United Nations leader who insists EPA should suspend ethanol requirements as food shortages grow around the globe."

"The EPA vs. State Economics" National Review Online

"However, the EPA stacked the decks against petitioners, establishing a burden of proof that was virtually impossible to meet. Indeed, the agency’s August 30 Request for Comment telegraphed the decision Jackson reached on Friday. The EPA stated petitioners would have to show that the “RFS itself” was the cause of severe harm, not merely a “contributing” factor. In addition, petitioners would have to show that waiving the RFS would be a “remedy” for the hardship facing livestock producers.

These criteria are ridiculous. The Clean Air Act does not require the EPA to don analytical blinkers and ignore other factors that, in combination with the RFS, cause severe harm, nor does it say that any waiver granted must be a silver bullet."

"EPA Denies Request to Waive Ethanol Mandate for Gas" Wall Street Journal

"The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it is moving forward with a mandate for corn ethanol in gasoline, denying requests to waive the requirement following a drought that pushed up corn prices."

"We are extremely frustrated and discouraged that EPA chose to ignore the clear economic argument from tens of thousands of family farmers and livestock and poultry producers," a coalition of agriculture groups said Friday."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"E.P.A Upholds Federal Mandate for Ethanol in Gasoline" New York Times

"Several environmental groups are also opposed to the ethanol requirement, saying that corn ethanol production is not clean energy. “If the worst U.S. drought in more than 50 years and skyrocketing food prices are not enough to make E.P.A. act, it falls to Congress to provide relief from our senseless federal support for corn ethanol,” Michal Rosenoer, a biofuels specialist at Friends of the Earth, said in a statement. She said the mandate was “exacerbating our economic and environmental problems.” "

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"U.S. agency says near decision on ethanol mandate" Reuters

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday that it will soon have a decision on whether to waive the mandate that requires blending billions of gallons of corn-based ethanol into the national gas supply each year.
"EPA is completing its review and analysis of the RFS waiver requests and the agency plans to reach a decision shortly," an agency spokeswoman said, referring to the ethanol mandate or Renewable Fuel Standards.
Aimed at reducing U.S. reliance on foreign oil, the RFS requires 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol to be made from corn this year.
In August, several governors asked the EPA to temporarily waive the mandate on ethanol because the worst drought in 50 years has driven corn prices higher and hurt livestock producers who depend on the grain for feed. Forty percent of the U.S. corn crop is used to make ethanol.
A decision on the waiver is expected by the end of the month.
In 2008, EPA denied a request from Texas to relax the mandate during a period of surging corn prices. Ethanol trade groups say they expect the same ruling this time.
(Reporting By Patrick Rucker; editing by Carol Bishopric)"