Ethanol Requirement For Gasoline Waiver Decision Delayed

Corn Field with a Dramatic Blue Sky photo

photo by Ricky via flickr

You may have read about how Texas governor Rick Perry filed a request with the Environmental Protection Agency to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard requirement for ethanol, so as to ease pressure on rising corn prices. The EPA has just announced that it needs more time to decide whether to grant the waiver.

While the EPA originally said it would make a decision by this coming Thursday, it now says it will need until early August to review the more than 15,000 public comments on the request.
Not deterred by the delay, Governor Perry said, "We still believe the solution to the unintended consequence of this federal RFS mandate is simple: a one-year, 50 percent waiver. The RFS waiver is an essential step toward decreasing the devastating statewide, national and international impact of skyrocketing feed and food costs."

Review of first generation biofuels needed
I still think the idea of reassessing the RFS requirement for ethanol on the basis of propping up the livestock industry—in other words using corn to feed animals, to then feed to people—is not quite the right motivation. However, the result of Governor Perry's request may have a postive environmental outcome.

As there is an increasing body of evidence that the environmental benefits once ascribed to first generation biofuels have been overstated, and the negative effects on food prices, deforestation, and poverty downplayed, a review of any federal policy that promotes biofuels, but does not distinguish between feedstocks that threaten the food supply and those that do not, is certainly needed.

via :: Yahoo! News
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