KBTX - From the Ground Up - Headlines

The Renewable Fuel Standard

“The renewable fuel standard that creates a mandate for grain based ethanol is really coming into question, and I think rightfully so.”

Texas Ag Commissioner Todd Staples seconded Governor Rick Perry’s request to reduce the amount of ethanol being produced by a federal mandate.

“Many times misguided federal mandates have unintended consequences. We know that our grain producers are having tremendously high costs and we want to see them maintain profitability, but when you have historically high prices, and food shortages around the world, you have to think what does a mandate really play in the free market economy that we have.”

Beef, pork, and poultry producers have seen feed prices skyrocket.

“Many livestock producers are really looking at this and calling it into question. The EPA administrator does have the ability to wave part or all of the renewable fuel standard’s mandate.”

Staples believes the answers lie in new technology, something producers continue to embrace to be able to stay in business.

“Agricultural producers continue to more with less, and technology is going to have to play a major role in renewable fuels. We know we don’t like being dependent on foreign oil. We don’t want to be dependent on foreign foods, and we want to find the answer to that in cellulosic ethanol, bio mass, there are all types of possibilities out there, and agriculture should have a leading role to play in renewable fuels, but it has to be that balance, so that our consumers and producers all can prosper under these situations.”

The fuel independence versus food independence debate will continue. I’m Joe Brown looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, from the ground up.


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