Bishop: EPA ethanol decision ignores needs of family farmers

The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent decision that it won’t loosen a mandate that corn-based ethanol be used in gasoline ignores the needs of family farmers and poultry producers, a South Georgia congressman said.

“With the price of feed continually rising and the economy in the state that it is, I am disappointed that the Environmental Protection Agency would not use its’ ability to waive the corn ethanol mandate to provide relief for our agricultural industries,” U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., said in a statement.

Governors from a number of states, along with members of Congress, in August 2012 asked the EPA for a waiver of the ethanol requirement, hoping to slow increasing feed costs. “EPA’s extensive analysis makes clear that Congressional requirements for a waiver have not been met and that waiving the (standard) would have minimal impact on ethanol demand,” the federal agency said.

“The EPA continues to be the source of the challenges many Georgia farmers and producers face on a day to day basis,” Bishop said. “A temporary waiver of the corn ethanol mandate would have represented a balance between the needs of rural America and our responsibility to protect our sacred environment. Going forward, I will continue to work with both sides to find compromise, and encourage the Environmental Protection Agency to join in the discussion.”

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., offered a similar sentiment.

“Record drought conditions and rising feed costs have put a huge burden on producers in my district and across the country this year. It’s a shame that the Environmental Protection Agency would not waive the corn ethanol mandate that could give farm families some relief,” he said in a statement. “No government agency represents a bigger burden for farm families than the EPA. It’s time for Washington bureaucrats to hear the concerns of the agriculture community and grant a waiver for the corn ethanol mandate.”

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