EPA Denies Waiver for Renewable Fuel Standard Rules

November 16, 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied requests from several Republican and Democratic governors Friday to waive its requirements for corn-based ethanol production.

The EPA said in a statement that the requirements to approve a waiver had not been met and "waiving the RFS requirements would therefore have no impact on ethanol use, corn prices, ethanol prices, or fuel prices."

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), enacted by Congress in 2007, requires 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol be produced this year.

State governors from Arkansas, North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, and Georgia joined members in Congress to ask the EPA to waive the RFS mandate after a drought caused corn prices to spike. The appellants said waiving the RFS would reduce the price of feed for livestock businesses.

The EPA decision is good news for biofuel producers but a disappointment for the oil sector, which has long opposed the fuel mandate.

"The governors’ request, and the Environmental Production Agency’s rejection of an ethanol mandate waiver, serves to underscore the pervasive problems with the Renewable Fuel Standards," American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President Charles T. Drevna said in a statement. "The issues highlighted during the waiver comment period further emphasize the fact that the RFS is fundamentally flawed and should be repealed. Failing to eliminate this mandate will adversely impact consumers and our economy."