Cattlemen Glad to See Additional Support for RFS Waiver
The governors of Arkansas and North Carolina are the latest to request that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson waive the Renewable Fuel Standard to bring relief to the thousands of farmers and ranchers across the U.S. experiencing the effects of the ongoing drought. Arkansas Cattlemen's Association President Marcus Creasy says the drought has severely affected his cattle and his business operations. He says cattlemen in drought-affected regions are struggling to feed their cattle - all while the price of grain increases. North Carolina Cattlemen's Association President Bill Cameron says his main concern is whether cattle farmers across the country will have enough feed for the cattle in their care. Creasy asks how many more congressional members, state leaders and livestock producers have to express their support for a waiver of the ethanol mandate before EPA listens.
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe told Jackson in a letter this week that higher feed costs following the passage of the first RFS in 2005 and the second in 2007 have resulted in a long-term shortage of grain in the nation. He says that's taking a terrible toll on poultry and animal agriculture in his state - potentially forcing reduced production and job losses and increasing food prices for consumers worldwide. Beebe says the drought may have triggered the price spike in corn - but an underlying cause is the federal policy mandating ever-increasing amounts of corn for fuel. North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue offered the same thoughts in a separate letter to Administrator Jackson.
The governors of Maryland and Delaware had previously requested an RFS waiver - as have more than 180 members of Congress and a coalition of meat and poultry organizations.
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