Possible federal legislation that dismantles the Renewable Fuel Standard is the wrong policy at the wrong time, the National Corn Growers Association said today. According to news reports, the bill drafted by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., would remove corn ethanol from the RFS and adjust the RFS for advanced biofuel at 16 billion gallons. “Just in time for Halloween, Sen. Feinstein is proposing a bill designed to play on the worst fears of Big Oil by gutting the RFS,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “Removing corn ethanol from the Standard makes no sense whatsoever at a time when growers are harvesting what may be a record corn crop. The fact is, we are on track to meet all demand for food and fuel, with a surplus at the end of this marketing year of nearly 2 billion bushels.”
Further, Barbre noted, it is bad policy for lawmakers to promote “next generation” biofuels over corn ethanol, because those newer fuels are dependent on the success of the entire ethanol industry to build the market, infrastructure and other support needed to get the newer fuels into the marketplace. “Without the great and continued success of corn ethanol in building the market, the industry will not be able to move much further in research and investment,” Barbre said. “The two go hand-in-hand, and that’s why it’s critical to preserve the RFS as a complete standard covering all biofuels. Without it, you won’t see 16 billion gallons of advanced biofuels by 2022.”
You also will see a lot of jobs lost and damage to rural economies, Barbre added, because the ethanol industry supports about 400,000 jobs and, in 2012, added $30.2 billion to household income.
“Is this the right time to destabilize rural America? Our families need more jobs and more opportunity at a time when our nation’s economy is still recovering and we face new challenges each day.”