Congressman Bob Goodlatte issued the following statement today regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announced opening of a 30-day public comment period on requests from 156 Members of Congress, led by Congressman Goodlatte, and the Governors of Arkansas and North Carolina to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has the authority to grant a full or partial waiver if implementation of the RFS requirements would severely harm the economy or environment of a state. The EPA has 90 days in which to make a decision.
"The opening of a public comment period on the requests for a waiver of the RFS is long overdue, but a positive sign. Time is of the essence in this effort, and farmers and consumers alike need answers and relief sooner rather than later, not long after the growing season is over and the damage has been done. As a severe drought continues to stretch across the nation, corn supplies are shrinking while corn prices climb over $8.oo/bushel. Additionally, corn production is forecast to decrease by 13 percent from last year while corn yield per acre will be the lowest we have seen in 17 years. As we confront the reality of tightening corn supplies, especially during this extreme weather, there are real concerns about having enough to satisfy the RFS and the needs of our food producers.
"The current drought and diminishing corn crop will devastate our economy if the RFS is not waived. I urge livestock producers, businesses small and large, and others impacted by the RFS mandate to submit their comments to the EPA. I implore Administrator Jackson to review these comments closely and take action as soon as possible to help ease corn supply concerns and protect American livestock and food producers, consumers, and the economy as a whole."