Federal corn ethanol repeal bill reintroduced
February 5, 2015
Reps. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., has reintroduced a bill to repeal the federal corn ethanol mandate, with co-sponsorship by Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark. and Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif.
The National Council of Chain Restaurants Executive Director Rob Green praised the members for introducing the bill called the Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act, and noted that the study the group commissioned concluded that if the corn ethanol mandate is left unchanged, chain restaurant industry costs will increase by up to $3.2 billion a year, with a typical chain restaurant location facing $18,000 in increased costs.
"This timely bill recognizes that the RFS is broken public policy and that Congress should act before the RFS does more damage to the U.S. economy," Green said.
The National Chicken Council and the National Turkey Federation also endorsed the bill.
National Chicken Council President Mike Brown called the four House members "the Four Horsemen," and thanked them for introducing the bill.
"Since the RFS was enacted, chicken producers alone have incurred almost $50 billion in cumulative additional feed costs. The RFS is a mess, and NCC will support measures such as this to fix it," Brown said.
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National Turkey Federation President Joel Brandenberger said, "EPA's failure to finalize its initial 2014 proposal to reduce Renewable Fuel Standard levels for corn ethanol blended into gasoline proves the RFS mandate is fundamentally flawed and unworkable."
"Uncertainty in the marketplace from the RFS corn ethanol mandate, since the beginning, has caused volatility in the supply of corn available as the crucial ingredient in turkey and other livestock feed," Brandenberger said.
"Congress set the RFS mandate into motion, and should make a reasoned decision to pass legislation to free corn ethanol from this process of indecision."
The Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association all issued statements against the bill.
"The legislation may be familiar, but it is still a reckless paean to Big Oil," RFA President Bob Dinneen said. "It is a callous effort that reneges on a government commitment upon which billions of dollars have been invested."
"As a direct result of the RFS, more than $30 billion has been invested in infrastructure and expanded production capacity, creating an industry that is responsible for nearly 400,000 jobs and contributes $44 billion to the GDP. Rep. Goodlatte would put all of that at risk to protect Big Oil's monopoly, sending a dangerous chill through the investment community that will forever more question the government's resolve."
Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis added, "This bill does nothing to address the critical policy goal of achieving U.S. energy independence, nor will it lower the price of food as the bill authors claim. Instead, it is a gift to special interest groups who are only concerned with maintaining their record profits."
"The RFS Reform Act is nothing more than a way for Big Oil to prevent market access to a higher octane, price competitive product, such as E15," Buis said. "This proposal is also a gift to Big Food in their effort to extend their record profitability by blaming ethanol for food price increases."
National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling said, "This legislation would be a huge step backward — for America's energy independence, for consumer choice at the pump, for the rural economy, and for the environment. We should be investing in America's farmers, not undercutting them in favor of Big Oil."
–The Hagstrom Report