The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has spoken out in defense of an important driver of agricultural equipment demand, urging the EPA to deny requests to waive the required use of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Several governors have filed waiver requests with the EPA to waive the RFS claiming economic hardships from higher corn prices due to the production of ethanol as the primary reason EPA should grant the waivers.
AEM filed comments with the EPA urging the agency to deny the waiver requests as they would cripple the continued growth of the biofuels industry while doing little to lower the prices of corn and animal feeds. AEM cited concerns that a waiver would have negative impacts on not only the biofuels industry, but on rural America, the environment and gasoline prices as well.
In addition, AEM notes that a robust biofuels sector is an important driver of agricultural equipment demand. “The market instability created by granting the waiver request would also spill over into the agricultural equipment area,” AEM comments read. “A weakened RFS would serve as a drag on future growth in the agricultural equipment manufacturing industry and the rural communities that depend upon it.” The expansion in production of next-generation fuels, which use non-foodstuff such as corn cobs, also has the potential to create markets for whole new classes of equipment.
The comment period for the waiver request officially ended last week.