By Mike Deering, NCBA Communications
Yet another governor has joined the mix of influentional leaders urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use its authority under the law and implement a waiver to the Renewable Fuel Standard. Texas Governor Rick Perry is number seven to echo the concerns of cattlemen and consumers. He joins governors from Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina and New Mexico. More are certain to follow. He is also in the company of more than 180 members of Congress.
This ethanol mandate reguires 40 percent of the nation's corn crop be transformed into fuel. Ethanol has helped a lot of farmers and rural communities. However, EPA was granted the authority in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which set the initial RFS, and in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, which expanded the fuels standard, to waive the RFS because of severe economic or environmental harm.
People, people, people... the old timers and history tell us we have the worst drought in roughly 50 years. According to USDA, 70 percent of cattle country is under drought conditions. Economic harm? How bad does it have to get before EPA does the right thing? Seriously, how bad does it have to get? Tell me, please.