CEOs urge EPA to reject waiver requests

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012

Several CEOs of companies in the ethanol industry today urged U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to reject requests to waive the corn-based fuel mandates in the renewable fuel standard.

The standard, the 22 executives said, has played a “pivotal” role in reducing gas prices and foreign oil reliance. They warned that a waiver would slow momentum in the domestic biofuels industry.

“We are investing in the research and development activities that will lead us to the next generation of bioenergy feedstocks and renewable fuels,” the CEOs said in a letter to Jackson. “Granting a waiver would jeopardize our past and future investments, and put at risk the enormous benefits that the recent agricultural renaissance has brought to the rural communities and the entire nation.”

Signing the letter were the leaders of Novozymes North America and the National Sorghum Producers, among others.

Ethanol and livestock industry groups today urged their supporters to file last-minute comments on the waiver requests, which have been filed by livestock-state governors to relieve the pressure brought on by higher corn prices. Livestock producers blame the prices on corn ethanol, which they say has tightened the amount of corn available for food and feed.

The comment period on the requests ends at midnight. As of press time, there were about 2,000 comments filed.