Potential impacts of RFS waiver focus of Thursday web conference

OAK BROOK, IL Aug. 13, 2012: An analysis of the potential impacts of waiving the federal ethanol mandate will be the subject of a web conference at 10 a.m. CDT Thursday, Aug. 16.

Farm Foundation, NFP is hosting the web conference, which features the work of three Purdue University economists. Advance registration is encouraged.
There is no fee to participate.

Severe drought has reduced corn production and driven up the price of corn. Faced with significantly higher feed costs, livestock producers have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a partial waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standards, which mandates blending of ethanol in gasoline. Purdue University economists Wally Tyner, Farzad Taheripour and Christopher Hurt have completed an analysis of a potential waiver and what it could mean for the ethanol industry and the price of corn. Their findings will be presented at Thursday’s web conference.

“As was the case in 2008, when rhetoric in the food-versus-fuel debate rose with the prices of corn and oil, the drought and high temperatures of 2012 are pushing corn and soybean prices to record levels, and the food vs. fuel debate is once again heated,” says Farm Foundation, NFP President Neil Conklin. “Now, as then, Farm Foundation and Purdue University are not about fueling these fires. Our shared mission is to be a catalyst for sound public policy by providing objective information to foster deeper understanding of the complex issues before our food and agriculture system today.”

The Purdue economists’ current analysis provides a clear description of the complex economics of corn and ethanol markets, and a rigorous assessment of the implications and uncertainties of changes in U.S. renewable fuels policy. The analysis builds on years of work, including a series of three Farm Foundation publications, “What’s Driving Food Prices,” published in July 2008, March 2009 and July 2011.

Thursday’s web conference is free of charge. Registration prior to the event is encouraged.

For more information, contact:
Mary Thompson, Farm Foundation, NFP, 630-571-9393, mary@farmfoundation.org
Steve Leer, Purdue University, 765-494-8415, sleer@purdue.edu

Farm Foundation, NFP works as a catalyst for sound public policy by providing objective information to foster a deeper understanding of issues shaping the future for agriculture, food systems and rural regions. Farm Foundation does not lobby or advocate. The Foundation has a 79-year commitment to objectivity, fostering the constructive debate that is essential to sound public policy development in a democracy.

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