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Opinions on RFS Reform Vary


House lawmakers said Wednesday that they plan to introduce legislation to address issues with the Renewable Fuel Standard. Representatives Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, Jim Costa of California, Steve Womack of Arkansas and Peter Welch of Vermont say they will introduce the Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act to help ease concerns created by the ethanol mandate and protect consumers, energy producers, livestock producers, food manufacturers, retailers and the U.S. economy.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Pork Producers Council are urging Congress to reform the biofuels mandate. The two groups called on lawmakers to make changes to the RFS last fall after the Environmental Protection Agency chose not to waive the biofuels mandate in response to the drought. NCBA and NPPC want a reform bill that ensures market stability, feed availability and the long-term sustainability of rural American economies. NCBA Policy Vice Chair Craig Uden says cattlemen and women are self-reliant. But in order to maintain that – he says they cannot be asked to compete with federal mandates like the RFS for the limited supply of feed grains. According to NPPC President Randy Spronk – it’s clear something is broken and needs to be fixed when the EPA can’t provide a temporary waiver of the RFS during the worst drought in 70 years to assure adequate feed and food supplies. Both NCBA and NPPC point out that the RFS mandates that 13.9-billion gallons of corn-based ethanol be blended into gasoline. They say that amount will use about 4.9-billion bushels of corn – or about 40-percent of the nation’s crop.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen says the motivation behind the Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act is backwards, silly, circular logic. He says the bill guts the only program that has successfully opened the market to these new technologies – lowering our dependence on imported oil and reducing the consumer price of gasoline; does nothing to end the billions in subsidies to Big Oil while denying market access to E15; and handcuffs the commercialization of cellulosic and advanced biofuels by removing the forward-looking, market-driving provisions of the original legislation. According to Dinneen – this legislation will scare away investors and says nothing undermines next generation innovation like uncertainty. Advanced Ethanol Coalition Executive Director Brooke Coleman called the measure a smokescreen for going after the one alternative fuel and the one policy that has fundamentally disrupted oil industry control of the marketplace while saving consumers money at the pump.

Source: NAFB News Service