Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) issued the following statement welcoming today's announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it will deny waivers of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for fuel supplies in 2012 and 2013. The waivers were requested by several state governors, who had urged EPA to reduce the mandated levels of biofuels. In denying the waiver requests, the EPA concluded that the RFS does not cause economic harm. A finding of economic harm is necessary for the EPA to grant a waiver.
"Today's announcement is a step forward in promoting the use of clean, renewable fuels. Our country cannot continue down a path of reliance on foreign oil. Increasing production of biofuels is not only important for our national security, but will also create jobs and strengthen rural communities here in the U.S., as has already happened in Iowa.
"I sympathize with those farmers, ranchers and those in the food industry whose businesses are being hurt by the severe drought. The EPA, however, rightly concluded that the RFS mandates are not the root cause of economic problems, and determined as well that easing the RFS would not have a significant impact on corn prices."