Blog: Will Washington waver on biofuels?
Dean Best | 25 June 2008
All eyes – at least among food suppliers in the US – are now on the country’s environment agency, as the debate over Washington’s biofuels policy heats up.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is mulling whether to allow Texas to waive half its commitment to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which lays down how much corn the state should put aside for biofuels this year.
Texas, backed by presidential hopeful John McCain, argues that the mandatory use of corn for biofuels is driving up the cost of corn for swathes of the food industry – and driving up food prices for consumers.
Texas Governor Rick Perry stepped up his campaign yesterday (24 June) arguing that the RFS was hitting the food industry hard. “It is doing more harm than good and must be modified before our livestock industry suffers permanent damage,” Perry warned.
US bakers have joined meat processors in backing Perry but there are whole sections of US agriculture who want the EPA to stand firm.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), for instance, insists that there is no link between the RFS and the pain felt in the livestock sector due to higher corn prices.
“If EPA sends a signal that the government is not fully committed to implementing the RFS – by wavering at the first hint of an increase in price regardless of whether the RFS is the cause or the severe harm standard has been satisfied – the investment markets could react and thus jeopardise the ability to meet the goals of the legislation,” the AFBF said.
The EPA will make its decision by 24 July. It will surely be a contested one.
Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...
Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
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