July 28, 2014

Nebraska senators: no need to waive ethanol requirement, yet (AUDIO)

Neither Nebraska United States Senator believes it’s time to change corn-based ethanol requirements, despite the expectation of low yields due to the drought.

Some livestock producers have grumbled that the EPA should waive requirements that a certain amount of the corn crop be harvested for ethanol production, arguing it will drive feed prices higher. The drought has the entire Corn Belt in its grip and is expected to greatly reduce yield.

The latest United States Drought Monitor map indicates conditions continue to deteriorate in Nebraska, which has been able to fight off some effects of the drought through irrigation.

Sen. Mike Johanns, a Republican, says a whole host of factors will affect price, not just the ethanol mandate.

“So, I say definitely sit tight for now until we see what the yield is, see what we’re dealing with as we head into the fall,” Johanns tells Nebraska Radio Network.

Much the same sentiment is expressed by Senator Nelson.

“The corn prices are going to be affected by a lot of things, not the least of which will be ethanol,” according to Nelson.

So far, the Obama Administration has resisted any efforts to waive the production requirements for corn-based ethanol.

Congress enacted the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005 and expanded it two years later. RFS requires that 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol be produced this year from corn.

 AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]