In comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Corn Growers Association urges Administrator Stephen L. Johnson to deny the request from the state of Texas to waive a portion of the renewable fuels standard (RFS).

NCGA criticized Texas Governor Perry for his baseless claims and lack of knowledge of the benefits ethanol has made to the economy. NCGA maintains that Texas has not met the standards for a waiver.

“Texas Governor Perry offers bold conclusions without providing any evidence to support his contention that the RFS is causing severe harm to the livestock industry in Texas and astonishingly, causing skyrocketing grocery prices,” the letter stated. “Not only are these claims inaccurate, they also fail to consider the many benefits that ethanol and other renewable fuels bring to Texas and the nation.”

The letter also cited that indirect impacts on consumer prices do not rise to the level of severity required for a waiver of the RFS for the year 2008 or beyond.

“The RFS is part of the fuel for this economic growth and any evaluation of a wavier request must consider not only the impacts of the waiver on Texas – alleged impacts that we dispute – but also the negative impacts on jobs that would be created by a waiver,” the letter continued.

NCGA strongly maintains that the RFS is not the cause of increased corn prices and that relaxing the RFS will not mitigate Texas’s claims. The letter cites the following causes of corn price increases: (1) record export demand fueled by a weak dollar, (2) record domestic feed use, (3) a flood of speculative money into the commodities markets, and (4) the dramatic increase in crude oil and energy prices, that have occurred over the same time period.

The letter concludes: “It is hard to imagine how reducing the national RFS would do anything but hurt the ethanol industry and the people who it is employing and raise gasoline prices at a time when the price at the pump is escalating.”