Governor Bob McDonnell, R-Va., has petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant a waiver from the ethanol quotas mandated by the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The petition was submitted Monday.

Virginia becomes the eighth state to file a petition from the waiver in addition to Texas, Georgia, New Mexico, Arkansas, North Carolina, Maryland and Delaware.  Other requests to waive the RFS include calls to action from 156 U.S. House members, 34 U.S Senators, poultry and livestock producers and the United Nations.

The RFS mandates that all U.S. transportation fuel contain ethanol, effectively diverting more than 40 percent of U.S.-grown corn to fuel.  In 2011, more corn went into gas than into feeding animals raised for food for the first time in history. 

“The direct harm is caused by the RFS requirement to utilize ever-increasing amounts of corn and soybeans for transportation fuel, severely increasing the costs of producing food, and further depleting already severely stressed grain supplies,” said McDonnell. “Altogether, economic harm is being experienced by Virginia’s livestock and poultry production regions and important economic sectors in the state as a direct result of the implementation of the applicable volume requirements of the RFS.  This harm could be alleviated by a full wavier of the RFS in 2012 and 2013,” he continued.

Read the petition.