The EPA (www.epa.gov) is seeking comments on Texas”s petition to reduce the volume of renewable fuel required to be used in motor vehicles and other engines. In an April 25, 2008 letter to the EPA, Governor Rick Perry asked the EPA to halve the nationwide renewable fuels standard (RFS) mandate for the production of ethanol derived from grain, citing adverse economic impact due to higher corn prices in Texas. The EPA is publishing a Federal Register notice opening a 30-day comment period on the request. The RFS mandate for 2008 is the equivalent of 9 billion gallons.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established the RFS program, and volume levels were increased in the Energy Independence and Security Act, which was signed into law in December 2007. The 2005 energy law also included provisions enabling the EPA administrator to grant a full or partial waiver if implementation of the RFS would severely harm the economy or environment of a state, region, or the entire country, or if the EPA determines that there is inadequate domestic supply of renewable fuel. In consultation with the Departments of Agriculture (www.usda.gov) and Energy (www.doe.gov), EPA must decide on a waiver request within 90 days of receiving it.

To view the waiver request and Federal Register notice seeking comment, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/renewablefuels/index.htm.