The Hill reports the Congressional Budget Office recently released an analysis based on Congress not repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard. The analysis estimates fuel refiners would have to more than triple the use of advanced biofuels by 2017 and use more than the 10-percent ethanol blend in gasoline that older vehicles can tolerate. According to this analysis – the CBO estimates gas prices would increase up to nine-percent and diesel fuel would rise up to 14-percent by 2017. The analysis concludes food prices wouldn’t likely change much by 2017 if the mandate is repealed because fuel refiners would still find it cost effective to keep using a similar amount of corn-based ethanol without the mandate. Even if the mandate increased – CBO predicts food prices would change very little because corn and food made with corn account for just a small fraction of total U.S. spending on food.
National Farmers Union Senior Vice President of Programs Chandler Goule says the CBO’s claim that repealing the RFS would reduce gas prices is simply false. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis agrees – saying the report looks at unrealistic scenarios and ignores the goals of the RFS – to decrease the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, create jobs, spur economic growth and improve the environment. Goule says the RFS has reduced consumer demand for oil – which the study fails to take into account – and study after study shows the RFS is saving consumers money. He says thankfully the CBO study acknowledges that the RFS is not driving up food prices – but Goule says the CBO should have taken all consumer benefits into consideration when performing its study. Buis says the bottom line is the CBO report is one-sided and skewed with no value placed on the meaningful policy objectives the RFS provides.