U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) issued the following statement today about the Environmental Protection Agency's rejection of a waiver request from states seeking relief from the renewable fuel standard's ethanol mandate:
"Ethanol mandates disproportionately hurt states like Pennsylvania. From our dairy and chicken farms to our refineries, this ill-advised policy hurts all Americans every day, costing consumers more at the grocery store and damaging our economy. I'm disappointed that the EPA chose to disregard the impact this growing mandate will have on Americans' food costs by denying the waiver request I supported. It's time for Congress to put an end to ethanol mandates, and I look forward to working on this during the 113th Congress," Sen. Toomey said.
In an August letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Sen. Toomey and six other senators asked that the EPA not increase the renewable fuel standard in 2013 and keep it at the 2012 level, in response to the summer's widespread drought. Since 2008, the renewable fuel standard has mandated the use of corn-based ethanol in the United States. These standards require the use of 13.2 billion gallons of that ethanol in 2012 and 13.8 billion gallons in 2013.
This renewable fuel standard is diverting more and more corn from our food supply to be used for fuel. In 2007, 25 percent of domestically-produced corn was used for ethanol, compared to 40 percent in the most recent crop year. Meanwhile, corn prices have risen steadily for the past decade, from $2 a bushel in 2005 to $8.24 in June.