Ethanol Mandate Waiver: Decks Stacked Against Petitioners
by Marlo Lewis (GlobalWarming.org) The Governors of Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, and North Carolina have petitioned EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to waive the mandatory ethanol blending requirements established by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The petitioners hope thereby to lower and stabilize corn prices, which recently hit record highs as the worst drought in 50 years destroyed one-sixth of the U.S. corn crop. Corn is the principal feedstock used in ethanol production.
…Section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) authorizes the EPA to waive all or part of the RFS blending targets for one year if the Administrator determines, after public notice and an opportunity for public comment, that implementation of those requirements would “severely harm” the economy of a State, a region, or the United States.
…According to the EPA, Petitioners must show that the “RFS itself” would cause severe economic harm, not merely “contribute” to it. Petitioners therefore must also show that the relief sought would achieve a substantial reduction in the prices of corn, feed, and food.
…In stark contrast, when the issue before the EPA is whether to grant regulatory relief, then the regulation itself must be shown to cause severe harm, and even temporary relief must be shown to cure all ills (or most of them). This is not surprising. Being a regulatory agency, the EPA does not accord the harms of over-regulation the same weight as the harms of under-regulation.
So in all likelihood, the EPA will deny the Governors’ waiver requests, even though a waiver would undoubtedly lower and stabilize corn prices to some extent. READ MORE and MORE (Ethanol Producer Magazine) and MORE (Star-Telegram) and MORE (Hoosier Ag Today) and MORE (Renewable Fuels Association) and MORE (Renewable Fuels Association)