U.S. Senators Kay Hagan (NC) and Saxby Chambliss (GA) led a bipartisan group of lawmakers on a letter today that asks EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to use the agency's existing waiver authority to adjust the corn-ethanol mandate for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). A copy of the letter is available here.
"With record droughts across the United States causing corn supplies to shrink and prices to spike, an adjustment to the corn-ethanol mandate will provide relief from an emergency that is harming North Carolina's poultry and livestock producers and driving up food prices for consumers, " said Hagan. "While I believe the RFS is helping to bring advanced biofuels to market that are critical to reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, the EPA should adjust the corn-ethanol mandate to reflect the new market conditions created by the worst drought in 50 years."
"The North Carolina Poultry Federation, the voice of the state's poultry industry since 1968, praises Senator Hagan for her leadership on an issue of great importance to our members," said the federation's Executive Director Robert Ford. "Our poultry producers desperately need relief from record high corn prices, and we thank Senator Hagan for bringing together a group of bipartisan lawmakers to request a waiver from the corn ethanol mandate of the Renewable Fuels Standard."
Deborah M. Johnson, CEO of the NC Pork Council said, "We appreciate Sen. Hagan's efforts in bringing this important issue to the attention of her senate colleagues and we are grateful for her leadership in joining livestock and poultry organizations in petitioning EPA to grant us relief from the Renewable Fuels Standard."
24 other Senators -- 12 Democrat and 12 Republican -- joined Hagan and Chambliss on the letter, including: Senators Pryor (AR) Boozman (AR), Cardin (MD), Isakson (GA), Coons (DE), Hutchison (TX), Feinstein (CA), Sessions (AL), Carper (DE), Burr (NC), Mikulski (MD), Murkowski (AK), Webb (VA), Coburn (OK), Warner (VA), Graham (SC), Udall (NM), McCain (AZ), Landrieu (LA), Risch (ID),Shaheen (NH), Crapo (ID), Manchin (WV) and Wicker (MS).
"The strong bipartisan showing on the letter is evidence of the severity of the situation. I am hopeful that Administrator Jackson will act quickly to waive the corn-ethanol mandate and bring relief to millions of Americans who will be affected by this far-reaching natural disaster," said Hagan.