Waiver request comment period enters its final week

By Erin Voegele | October 05, 2012

The U.S. EPA’s public comment period on the renewable fuel standard (RFS) waiver requests closes in approximately one week. Nearly 1,500 comments have already been filed on the topic, some in favor of maintaining the RFS, others in favor of waiving it.

One comment filed by Emie Shea on behalf of the 25x’25 Alliance noted that the RFS has been a cornerstone of federal renewable energy and national security policy. “The 25x’25 Alliance understands the severity of the drought conditions and has great empathy for the crop and livestock producers who are suffering from its impacts,” said Shea in the comment. “However, the Alliance believes that this is not the time to hinder the advances being made in biofuels production technology or to create additional pressures on commodity markets by waiving the RFS… If there is a modification of the RFS, the economic impact would likely be felt by the dozens of next generation companies who have invested billions in pilot and demonstration projects all across the nation that are ready or near ready for launch to commercial scale. Policy consistency is needed to bring next generation biofuels to commercial scale production and to ensure that every corner of the country benefits from the growth of domestically produced biofuels.”

Unsurprisingly, many comments supporting the waiver have been filed by those representing the livestock and poultry industries. Mark Leggett, president of the Mississippi Poultry Association Inc. filed a comment that asks for the waiver to be approved due to high corn prices. In the comment he noted that he believes an RFS waiver would directly benefit the animal agriculture sector.

If you haven’t submitted a public comment on the waiver, there is still time to do so. Comments will be accepted through Oct. 11. Comments can be submitted through the Regulations.gov website under EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0632. Alternatively, the Renewable Fuels Association has set up an easy-to-use form on the Choose Ethanol website that will submit your comment to the EPA.