Producers of biofuels are welcoming a recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to deny the requests of some Republican and Democratic lawmakers who called for the agency's ethanol production requirements to be waived.
In a statement, the EPA said it denied the request to waive the requirement that 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol be produced in the U.S. each year due to a lack of evidence that such a standard would have negative consequences for the economy.
"Based on a thorough review of the record in this case, EPA finds that the evidence and information does not support a determination that implementation of the RFS program during the 2012-2013 time period would severely harm the economy of a State, a region, or the United States," read the statement, which was signed by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. "EPA is therefore denying the requests for a waiver."
According to the Washington Beacon, lawmakers had sought to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for this year due to the extended drought that elevated corn prices. Lawmakers had argued that the waiver would lower the price of the feed for the livestock business, the news source reported.
Ethanol industry groups, however, responded positively to the EPA's ruling, calling it a victory over special interests that were looking to overturn an important U.S. energy policy.
"Despite millions of dollars spent by Big Oil and Big Food to shamelessly attack American-made ethanol, it comes as no surprise EPA denied the requests to waive the RFS because the facts are on our side," Brian Jennings, vice president for the American Coalition for Ethanol, said in a statement following the EPA's ruling.
The decision by the EPA to deny the waiver request is expected to have widespread implications for biofuel producers as well as the oil industry. EPA compliance has become a major concern for companies in these sectors, particularly as more stringent fuel standards begin to be rolled out over the next few years.
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