20 November 2012 15:50 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE) said on Tuesday that it hopes the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to uphold the ethanol mandate will show decision-makers in Europe that there is no link between food prices and biofuels mandates.
There were calls to waive the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) after a severe summer drought devastated American corn crops, resulting in higher food prices.
In Europe, the charity Oxfam published a damaging report on the effects of biofuels mandates on food prices, while Dirk Niebel, the German minister for economic co-operation and development, called for an end to E10 fuel (10% ethanol-blended gasoline), as he believed it was contributing to higher food costs.
Shortly after this, the European Commission published proposals in October that seek to limit the contribution of food crop-based biofuels towards EU biofuels targets.
“We welcome this decision by the US EPA. It is encouraging that the US Government authorities have based their decision-making on biofuels policy on hard facts and data analyses,” said Rob Vierhout, secretary general of ePURE.
“We hope that this decision will encourage European decision-makers that there is no link between food prices and biofuels mandates and therefore introducing radical policy measures to curb biofuels is unjustified,” Vierhout added.
ePURE praised the investigations by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Energy, which found that the RFS had only a 1% effect on corn values and would not affect household energy costs.
The industry body has said that the EPA decision shows that despite utilising about 40% (gross) of the US corn crop for biofuels production, the RFS is not impacting on food prices.
($1 = €0.78)
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