Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson says the agency will have to delay a pending request for a waiver from the ethanol mandate. In April, Texas Governor Rick Perry requested a waiver from the Renewable Fuels Standard. The final decision on the request was supposed to be completed by July 24, but in a statement Tuesday Johnson said it will be early August before a final determination can be made.
Shortly after Texas made the request, EPA sought comments on the waiver and over 15,000 comments were received. "I believe it is very important to take sufficient time to review and understand these comments in order to make an informed decision, Johnson said."
Arlan Suderman, Farm Progress market analyst, said that the waiver was unlikely to be granted when the request was first made, and he continues to believe that.
"I still don't think it is going to happen and I believe most of the trade does not believe it is going to happen," Suderman says. "But I believe that they fear it happening. We saw a good example today (Tuesday) with soybean and wheat prices showing signs of turning the corner and turning higher but corn traders were not able to do that, I believe because of a reluctance to own corn until they hear that decision.
According to Suderman, putting off the announcement could continue to hang over the corn market with major funds afraid to build too much of a ownership position, short of another bullish, fundamental story until they see the decision.
EPA is also required to consult with the Departments of Agriculture and Energy in considering whether to grant or deny the waiver request. Johnson said he has begun these consultations. "The process remains fair and open and no agreements have been made with any party in regard to the substance and timing of the decision on the waiver request."