Houston, 12 October (Argus) — Farmers, ethanol producers and citizens who just love bacon filed more than 2,100 comments ahead of yesterday's deadline for public comment on proposed waivers to federal fuel standards.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will by late November decide whether to waive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements that US fuel refiners and importers blend certain volumes of ethanol and other alternative fuels into the nation's gasoline supply.
The EPA may waive some requirements if it finds severe economic or environmental harm, or inadequate supply of the biofuel.
Governors, food industry groups and other lawmakers have sought waivers of those required volumes as drought devastated this year's US corn crop. Waiving the requirements, the groups believe, would ease access for livestock, poultry and grocers to corn normally crushed into ethanol.
Ethanol groups have fought the waiver, saying it would have no short-term impact on corn prices and would damage the renewable fuels industry.
Responses included pages-long defenses of the mandate from producers, worried pleas from poultry workers concerned about their industry and a nine-word profession of love for bacon, which food industry groups had warned could fall in short supply without enough grain to use as feed. Residents claiming engine damage to boats and lawn equipment called for ethanol to be abandoned outright; farmers called the program a vital economic boon for rural America.
And some struck more of a neutral tone.
“Leave the mandate in place until a better, fully-debated alternative is found,” wrote one anonymous commenter. “Panicking because of a temporary shortage is knee-jerk, reactionary and weak.”
The EPA opened comment on the proposed waiver 20 August and later extended the period to yesterday.
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