U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today expressed disappointment with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision not to grant a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) requirement. A shortage of corn resulting from this year's drought has disproportionately harmed U.S. poultry and livestock growers. Senator Cardin supported the request for the waiver and also has introduced the RFS Flexibility Act, S. 3428, which would link the RFS's corn ethanol production mandate to the size and availability of U.S. corn supplies.
"I strongly disagree with EPA's decision because it compounds the serious hardship Maryland's poultry industry is experiencing," said Senator Cardin. "This decision means that poultry farmers will continue to unfairly compete for limited corn supplies with the ethanol industry that enjoys a federally mandated market for their product. The poultry industry needs affordable corn for feed and the EPA's decision will have a serious effect on consumer food prices beyond the cost of chicken or turkey.
"I believe the best solution is passage of my legislation to revise the RFS requirement based on the ratio of corn stocks-to-expected use, which could result in a reduction for the RFS mandate for corn ethanol."