Corn growers and ethanol producers are holding their collective breath today as the highly-anticipated decision by the Environmental Protection Agency on whether to grant a partial waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard will be announced this afternoon.
EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson and Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Robert Meyers will hold a press conference at noon central to officially answer the request from Texas Governor Rick Perry to cut the RFS ethanol blending requirements by 50 percent after delaying the decision by two weeks due to the massive volume of comments received.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Gov. Perry sent a letter to EPA this week with 55 pages of attachments to Johnson responding “to challenges to his request filed with the environmental agency after the public comment period ended July 23.”
In his letter, Perry acknowledged that corn, diesel and crude oil prices have “retreated” in the past month. But, he wrote, “the fundamental problems adversely affecting our well-being remain and could worsen when those prices begin to escalate again, as they probably will.”
He also pointed to information he got from two “expert” economists who claim that the ethanol mandate “contributes materially to higher diesel fuel and and crude oil prices by suppressing gasoline production,” Perry wrote.
“This view is contrary to what would seem to be conventional wisdom and as espoused by the proponents of the ethanol mandates who claim that ethanol is suppressing the price of gasoline at the pump. But it is true nonetheless.”
We await the decision of the judges.