Novozymes blasts governor's request for US ethanol waiver

16 August 2012 23:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Bio-technology company Novozymes became the latest on Thursday to criticise a waiver request for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), saying that ethanol is not the reason for higher grain prices.

The RFS requires 13.2bn gal (50.0bn litres) of corn-based ethanol to be produced in 2012 and 13.8bn gal in 2013.

The company’s comments were aimed at North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, who put in a waiver request to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Everyone agrees that the drought is one of the worst weather events to impact US farmers in decades. But this choice is the wrong path,” said Novozymes North American president Adam Monroe.

“All it’s doing is adding to the fear and public misconception about US energy and telling investors, who are putting private resources into the growing biofuels industry, to worry,” he said.

Monroe also said the ethanol industry is already using less corn and responding to the demands of the current market.

“It’s not driving feed and food prices. Oil is.” Monroe said.

Monroe’s comments on oil prices were similar to statements from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) earlier in the week, which said outlined a number reasons for not having a waiver on the RFS.

Monroe also said Perdue’s waiver request failed to take into account details such as declining ethanol production this year and overall growth in corn production over the past 25 years.

Meanwhile, Governor Perdue’s request was the latest attempt by US politicians to push for a waiver as severe drought conditions hamper corn crops and forecasts.

By: Brian Balboa
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