National Turkey Federation Inundates EPA with Comments on Ethanol Mandate
NTF submits over 1,500 comments on petitions to waive the Renewable Fuels Standard
Washington, D.C., October 11, 2012 -
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Peggy Albertson, National Turkey Federation
202-898-0100 ext. 7223, email@example.com
Today, the National Turkey Federation (NTF) in collaboration with its members, submitted over 1,500 comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), requesting a full or substantial waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in order to prevent an animal feed crisis and soaring food costs in the coming months.
The federation and its members asked EPA for a waiver for the remainder of 2012 and all of 2013, citing severe economic harm to the livestock and poultry industry and the nation as a whole.
“NTF collected more than 1,500 comments that spoke with one voice,” said NTF President Joel Brandenberger. “Each comment made it painfully evident that the RFS is hurting the average American, our nations’ agriculture, and livestock and poultry businesses. We are looking to EPA to use the waiver process as it was intended. If a waiver is not granted after this clear cry for help, then the current system is irreparably flawed.”
The EPA was seeking comments in response to petitions from Arkansas and North Carolina which sought a substantial wavier from the RFS, opening a comment period that closed today.
NTF noted in their comments that EPA’s waiver has inflicted severe economic harm to their industry, even causing one California turkey processor, to file for Chapter 11 protection, citing increased feed costs as a key factor in the company’s financial struggles.
The severity of the situation was only underscored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Oct. 11 WASDE corn crop report, confirming that the summer drought has severely reduced the amount of corn available over the next year. Also, in response to the recent Grain Stocks report, USDA reduced estimated corn stocks from this year’s crop to only 619 million bushels. The stocks forecast would be one of the lowest in history, and further highlights the emergency that America’s entire food production system is facing.
The EPA is scheduled to rule on the waiver request by Nov. 13.
In September 2009, NTF commented on the expanded RFS, saying that the RFS did not consider the risks associated with the variability of grain crops or other biomass production. NTF warned that the RFS would create serious consequences on food and fuel production costs in years of reduced crop production. The RFS has a waiver process in place to cope with environmental distress, such as this year’s historic drought.
“As NTF’s prediction has come to fruition, we expect to see an entire waiver for the remainder of this year and for 2013,” said Brandenberger. “If we do not get the waiver now, it will be evident that this process is defective to the detriment of the American economy, and livestock and poultry producers. This drought is what the waiver process is for. If not now, then when?”
The RFS is a program created by Congress in 2005 that mandates the minimum amount of renewable fuel – almost exclusively corn-based ethanol – that must be blended into motor fuels each year. In 2007, Congress increased the RFS significantly, while permitting the EPA to govern implementation of the congressional mandate.
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