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Over Third of House Urge EPA to Waive Ethanol Mandate
USAgNet - 08/03/2012

As the worst drought in a half century continues, a bipartisan group of 156 members of Congress is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to act immediately to reduce the Renewable Fuels Standard mandate to account for the severe anticipated corn shortage.

Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Steve Womack (R-AR) and Mike McIntyre (D-NC) are spearheading the plea to the EPA because 'another short corn crop would be devastating to the animal agriculture industry, food manufacturers, foodservice providers and consumers,' according to the letter.

The letter urged prompt action by the EPA to help ease short corn supply concerns that would save jobs across many U.S. industries and keep families fed.

"We strongly urge you to exercise your authority and take the necessary steps to protect American consumers and the economy," the representatives wrote.

When Congress enacted the expanded RFS in 2007, certain safety valves were put in place. One provision allows the administrator of the EPA to reduce the required volume of renewable fuel in any year based on severe harm to the economy or environment of a state, a region or the United States. The congressional letter contends that the worst drought since the Eisenhower administration calls for exactly the kind of flexibility that Congress envisioned.

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