POET, Novozymes call on EPA to deny RFS waiver requests

August 16, 2012 |

In South Dakota, POET CEO Jeff Lautt called on the EPA to resist requests to waive the US Renewable Fuel Standard. “A Renewable Fuel Standard waiver would accomplish little in terms of near-term drought relief but have significant long-term effects on agriculture markets and those very farmers who are facing challenges today. There is flexibility in existing policy, as has been noted in ag economic research at Iowa State University and a recent analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The fact that ethanol production has dropped 15 percent in response to the market is evidence of that. All users of corn, including ethanol producers, are readjusting to the current market conditions. “Estimates show a 100 percent waiver would only lower corn prices by about 5 percent. It would have little effect on today’s challenges. What it would do is create longer-term uncertainty in federal energy policy and agriculture markets, affecting farmers and progress in renewable fuel production, raising gas prices and increasing reliance on foreign oil.”

In Washington, Novozymes North America president Adam Monroe added, “Novozymes has its North American headquarters and hundreds of employees in North Carolina. The state also has its own biofuels industry, with a Biofuels Center and employees (the first if its kind in the nation), not to mention incredible biomass potential – good for farmers and our state’s economy alike. “Everyone agrees that the drought is one of the worst weather events to impact U.S. farmers in decades. But this choice is the wrong path. All it’s doing is adding to the fear and public misconception about U.S. energy – and telling investors, who are putting private resources into the growing biofuels industry, to worry. “We understand poultry and meat producers are concerned about grain prices. They are our customers, too, and we know costs impact them. But ethanol is not the reason for the real issues at hand – especially since ethanol does not consume as much corn as the livestock sector.”

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Category: Policy

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