Gov. Rick Perry today asked the Obama Administration to waive the mandated Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2012 and 2013. In a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson, the governor added Texas to the list of states and leaders supporting the national Petition for Waiver or Partial Waiver of Applicable Volume of Renewable Fuel because of the mandate's adverse impact on Texas.
"The RFS may have been a well-intentioned effort to move our country toward energy independence, but it has, predictably, done more harm than good. Not only is it driving up grocery prices for all families, it is also putting increasing strain on business," Gov. Perry said. "Good intentions and laudable goals are small compensation to the families, farmers and ranchers who are being hurt by the federal government's efforts to trade food for fuel. Any government mandate that benefits one industry to the detriment of millions of consumers is bad policy."
Due to a severe and ongoing drought across the nation, domestic corn production is predicted to be substantially less this year, while requirements for ethanol derived from corn are now 60 percent greater than they were in 2008. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop is currently being diverted to produce ethanol, up from 25 percent in 2007. This directly threatens the sustainability of livestock producers, who rely heavily on corn-based products for feed, and drives up costs for consumers.
In 2008, Gov. Perry requested a partial waiver of the RFS based on the adverse economic impact it was having on the state, including skyrocketing food prices for millions of Texas families and economic harm to our livestock industry. Texas plays a significant role in feeding and fueling America as a leading producer of our nation's domestic fuel supply and the nation's number one beef producer, with more than 6 million head of cattle fed and marketed in Texas each year. Texas is also one of the top poultry/egg and dairy producers.
Texas supports an all-of-the-above approach to energy, including the use of non-food bioproducts that are promising alternatives and have no impact on food production and little impact on the environment.