RFS opponents seek legislative reform

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2014 -- In a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, more than 30 groups organized by the National Council of Chain Restaurants asked for a renewed push toward Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) reform.

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The organizations, including Action Aid USA, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Turkey Federation and R Street Institute, called on Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to correct the “numerous wrongs” of the ethanol mandate through legislation.

The groups said the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed reduction to the RFS would not be enough to decrease pressure on corn demand or lower ethanol's share of U.S. corn production. Last year, more than 40 percent of a drought-depleted U.S. crop was used to make the biofuel, according to USDA.

EPA is proposing to cut total biofuel blending from 18.15 billion gallons specified for 2014 in the 2007 legislation to 15.21 billion gallons. The measure also would drop the corn ethanol requirement from 14.4 billion gallons to a little more than 13 billion gallons, an amount less than the 13.8 billion gallons required in 2013.

If EPA implements a final rule similar to its proposal, the required corn ethanol volume is less than a 6 percent reduction from this year's mandate, the letter notes. 

“At these volumes corn ethanol will continue to provide perverse incentives to overplant corn, distort commodity and energy markets and wreak economic and environmental havoc,” the letter states. “We urge you to continue to build on the process you started and to press forward with legislative action in your Committee as soon as possible.”

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