This is in response to the request by Texas to request a partial waiver of the requirement.
The letter cited the many benefits of ethanol and responded to the misguided efforts to blame ethanol for higher food prices.
The association's membership includes governors from South Dakota, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana Wisconsin, Nebraska, North Dakota, Minnesota, Kansas and Ohio.
June 3, 2008
Dear Administrator Johnson:
On behalf of the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA), we respectfully urge you to uphold the new and higher Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 as passed by Congress and signed by the President. Granting waivers to the RFS would be contrary to your agency’s mission to protect human health and the environment.
A waiver would also contradict the President’s “Twenty in Ten” plan that you worked on to pass. In his 2007 State of the Union Address, President Bush announced the plan to reduce U.S. gasoline usage by 20 percent in 10 years. One of the objectives of the plan is to strengthen our nation’s energy security by reducing foreign oil dependency, and by promoting the development of homegrown, renewable energy sources. The plan called for increased use of renewable and alternative fuels, and set a goal of 36 billion gallons of renewable energy sources to be used in the U.S., as is reflected in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
The EPA’s own analysis of the current RFS shows the increased use of renewable fuels, like ethanol, will reduce traditional car pollutants, such as benzene and carbon monoxide. Ethanol is non-toxic, water soluble, and biodegradable. In addition, ethanol poses no threat of contamination or degradation of surface or ground water.
The blame placed on ethanol for higher food prices is misguided. Higher food prices are the result of many factors, including rising transportation and production costs due to record oil prices, increased demand for grains and meat from developing countries, increased speculator investment and influence in all commodities markets, and extended global drought. As a result, all food commodity prices are high, not just the price of corn. In short, granting any waiver to the RFS will not reduce current food commodity prices.
The RFS actually helps move the ethanol industry toward use of cellulosic materials. The RFS will encourage the investment and technological innovations needed to make production of ethanol from cellulose a commercial reality.
When you addressed the National Ethanol Conference last year, you stated, “Bottom line - alternative domestic sources of energy are good for our economy, good for our energy security … and are good for our environment.” We could not agree more. We thank you for your time and consideration.
M. Michael Rounds
Governor of South Dakota and Chair,
Midwestern Governors Association
Governor of Michigan and Vice Chair
Midwestern Governors Association
Source: Midwestern Governors Association
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