As of this week, there are now seven governors calling on the Obama Administration to suspend the Federal mandate requiring so much biofuels that corn ethanol now constitutes 10 percent of U.S. gasoline consumption. This is spreading devastation in the livestock and meat sectors nationally, as well as kinking the international food chain.
An international food catastrophe is unfolding as one-third of the planet's annual corn output has come to be concentrated in the U.S. Midwest, where the extreme drought and heat has cut this year's crop badly.
The Obama Administration, true to its nature, is not only stonewalling, but is bulling ahead with its two priority campaigns: 1) more bio-products; 2) more local farm markets, as the farm model of the future. Obama has even deployed part of Americorps to fuss with setting up local farm markets.
This week, Governors Rick Perry (R-Texas) and Bob McConnell (R-Virginia) wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) requirements. Their states specialize, respectively, in cattle and poultry.
The other five governors who have made similar appeals are: Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (R), North Carolina Gov. Bev. Purdue (D); Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R); Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D); and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D).
These appeals are unprecedented. The only other time, since 2005, when the Federal mandate began, that a governor requested relief, was in 2008, when Texas Gov. Rick Perry did so, and the EPA (under George W. Bush) refused.
The Renewable Fuels Association, representing the big and little fry involved in running the ethanol distilleries, is having hissy fits. Yesterday, the RFA sent out a statement saying, "The rash of governors rushing to appease the pleas of the livestock and food processing industries are ignoring the damage a waiver would do to consumers at the pump..."