AFFI Leads Effort to Waive EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard
Amid a worsening drought that is devastating U.S. corn production, the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), McLean, Va., and a coalition of nearly 30 food groups called on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson to waive a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that requires the production of 13 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol.
In an Aug. 10 letter to administrator Jackson, AFFI and its coalition allies emphasized that granting a waiver from the mandate “would significantly reduce the harm food makers and consumers will feel because of the drought.” The letter cautioned that absent action by EPA, the mandate, which diverts corn from livestock producers and food makers to fuel refineries, “will exacerbate the global economic impact of the devastating drought occurring in U.S food producing regions.”
Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA administrator holds the power to waive the RFS mandate in situations where not doing so “would severely harm the economy.”
“We have already seen corn prices begin to skyrocket, with the full economic harm caused by the drought still to come,” says Kraig R. Naasz, president and CEO of AFFI. “In short order, food makers will be saddled with significant cost increases and consumers will face higher prices at the grocery store. EPA has the power to provide desperately needed relief for food producers and families, and we urge administrator Jackson to utilize her authority to ensure the effects of this drought are not exacerbated.”