Praises Bill To Stop Corn Ethanol Mandate
Legislation introduced this week by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
and eight cosponsors to eliminate the corn ethanol
mandate has won strong support from Western United Dairymen. “We are pleased to
support Senator Feinstein's continued efforts on eliminating the mandate for
corn ethanol. She was instrumental in seeing the ethanol subsidies expire and
we believe that she will be just as successful with this effort,” said Western
United Dairymen CEO Michael Marsh.
“This legislation provides a simple, effective solution
to the problems caused by corn diverted to ethanol, driving up feed costs and
consumer prices for meat, milk and energy,” continued Marsh. “California dairy
families who are suffering from continued high feed prices support this effort
to eliminate the federal corn ethanol mandate from the Renewable Fuels Standard
(RFS), while maintaining provisions designed to grow the low-carbon biofuel
The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), created in the Energy
Policy Act of 2005 and revised in 2007, requires refiners and blenders to use 16.55 billion gallons of
renewable fuel in 2013. More than 13 billion gallons of this total will be met
by the use of corn ethanol, a level that will increase in subsequent years.
The RFS also sets a target for 36 billion gallons of
renewable fuels blended into gasoline by 2022 with the corn ethanol mandate
scheduled to reach 15 billion gallons by 2015. Each year, EPA issues RFS rules
with increasing volumes of renewable fuel blending that also include cellulosic
and advanced biofuels that do not compete as feed sources.
Feinstein said the bill supports development of advanced
biofuels, including those made from soybean oil, grasses and trees. But it
would eliminate the mandate for corn-based ethanol, which currently represents
the vast majority of biofuels produced in the United States. She said the corn
mandate diverts a large proportion of the U.S. corn crop towards making fuel,
raising animal feed and food prices.
In introducing the bill, Senator Feinstein said, “Under
the corn ethanol mandate in the RFS, roughly 44 percent of U.S. corn is
diverted from food to fuel, pushing up the cost of food and animal feed and
damaging the environment. Oil companies are also unable to blend more corn
ethanol into gasoline without causing problems for automobiles, boats and other
vehicles. I strongly support requiring a shift to low-carbon advanced
biofuels.” Feinstein added, “But a corn ethanol mandate is simply bad policy.”
Coburn said, “The time to end the corn ethanol
mandate has arrived. This misguided policy has cost taxpayers billions of
dollars, increased fuel prices and made our food more expensive. Eliminating
this mandate will let market forces, rather than political and parochial
forces, determine how to diversify fuel supplies in an ever-changing
marketplace. I’m grateful my colleagues on both sides on the aisle are prepared
to take this long-overdue step to protect consumers and taxpayers from
artificially high fuel and food prices.”
of the bill are Richard Burr
(R-N.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.).
eliminates the unnecessary pressure on corn prices, allowing the multi-billion
dollar corn ethanol industry to compete directly with oil based on price and
quality, not mandates.
will continue to blend corn ethanol into the fuel supply in the absence of a
mandate, as ethanol is the preferred octane booster used to increase the
efficiency of gasoline. Even without a mandate for its use, the economic
benefits of mixing ethanol into gasoline would remain.
proposal has strong support from dairy; beef; poultry; the prepared food
industry; oil and gas; engine manufacturers; boaters; hunger relief
organizations; and environmental groups. A list of endorsing organizations can
be found here.
Labels: corn ethanol blended with gasoline, Feinstein and biofuels, Renewable Fuels Standard, Senate Bill to eliminate corn ethanol mandate