Bill aims to repeal corn ethanol mandate

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 -- It's not the first and it won't be the last. Legislation introduced by Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., would repeal the corn ethanol mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

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But Lankford's bill would also require the remaining mandates set by the RFS, including biodiesel and advanced biofuels, to be fulfilled with domestic production, eliminating, for example, imports of ethanol from Brazil being counted under the standard.

Lankford, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements, and representing a district in an oil-rich state, said “the RFS is not meeting its original purpose of achieving American energy independence, and its impossible mandates are needlessly overburdening American consumers, energy refiners and producers.”

He also said lower fuel demand made corn ethanol, which is blended into gasoline, “a product that Americans did not want or that did not exist . . . it was literally a phantom fuel.”

However, Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, called Lankford's bill a “shortsighted effort to undercut the continued growth of renewable fuel.” He said there is more than enough ethanol to meet the RFS, noting that if it did not exist, “the oil companies wouldn't be fighting so hard to protect their monopoly over the nation's fuel supply.”

Dinneen said Lankford's contention that his bill would lower overall fuel prices was wrong because “ethanol is the cheapest transportation fuel in the world,” running 50-60 cents cheaper than wholesale gasoline and lowering the price at the pump.

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