Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte introduces law to alter ethanol mandate

Rep. Bob Goodlatte

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., released the following statement after introducing legislation to alter the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

“The RFS debate is no longer just a debate about fuel or food. It is also a debate about jobs, small business, economic growth and freedom. The federal government’s creation of an artificial market for the ethanol industry has quite frankly triggered a domino effect that is hurting American consumers, energy producers, livestock producers, food manufacturers, and retailers. Extreme drought last summer and record corn prices made it clear that the RFS is not working.

“Diverting feed stocks to fuel has diminished corn supplies for livestock and food producers resulting in higher corn prices. Higher prices are then passed on to livestock and food producers, meaning consumers across the nation see that increase reflected in the price of food on the grocery store shelves and in restaurants. At a time when our economy is still struggling to recover, the last thing families and small businesses need are costly government policies that increase their gasoline and grocery bills.

“Today, I introduced the RFS Elimination Act, which eliminates the RFS and makes ethanol compete in a free market. This legislation would give relief to livestock and food producers as well as consumers of these products. Renewable fuels play an important role in our all-of-the-above energy policy, but should compete fairly in the marketplace and not be the beneficiary of an anti-competitive government mandate. American families and businesses should not have to shoulder the high cost of this unworkable federal ethanol mandate.”

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be part of our nation’s fuel supply by 2022. Almost all of this is currently being fulfilled by corn ethanol. In 2011, five billion bushels of the corn supply was used for ethanol – equal to nearly 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop, according to Goodlatte.

Additionally,  Goodlatte introduced the bipartisan RFS Reform Act, which eliminates corn-based ethanol requirements, caps the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent, and requires the EPA to set cellulosic biofuels levels at production levels. This is a common sense solution to make sure that we have enough corn supplies to meet all of our demands, he claims.

The RFS Reform Act is supported by a diverse group of more than 45 organizations, including ActionAid USA, the American Frozen Food Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Environmental Working Group, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Milk Producers Council, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Chicken Council, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the National Restaurant Association, the National Taxpayers Union, the National Turkey Federation, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, and Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Both the RFS Elimination Act and the RFS Reform Act will be referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.