National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer released the following statement in response to formal petitions filed this week with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“We are in the midst of a historic and devastating drought. Its impact will be felt well beyond the farm sector. We have great concern and empathy for not only our members who are suffering, but all who we supply. This includes the domestic livestock sector, our export customers, the domestic food industry and the ethanol industry. All are suffering because of the drought.
“We continue to believe in the value and efficacy of the open market system. It is the most efficient and effective way of allocating resources.
“There currently is a lot of public discussion about the role and impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Unfortunately most of this discussion is unencumbered by facts and reality. The facts clearly show that the RFS has been of significant net value to the entire U.S. economy.
“While we believe that it is still somewhat premature to consider a temporary, partial waiver to the RFS (as there will be much more accurate information available with September’s and October’s USDA crop reports), we do respect the right of those with standing to exercise the language contained in the RFS. The waiver process language in the RFS calls for careful objective analysis of the economic impact of the RFS on the U.S. economy. We have faith in, and support, the process laid out in this language.
“If indeed the analysis shows that the RFS is not causing severe economic harm, but instead ethanol production is responding to market forces rather than the RFS, then the request for a temporary partial waiver should be rejected. If however, the analysis clearly shows that the RFS is causing severe economic harm in light of the drought, then a temporary, partial waiver should be granted.
“We reiterate that it is the drought that is the issue, and the cause of the distress we all now face. An open and free market approach is the best and most efficient solution to getting us past this crisis.”