Welch (D-VT) today introduced the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Reform Act to help ease concerns created by the ethanol mandate and protect consumers, energy producers, livestock and poultry producers, food manufacturers, retailers and the U.S. economy.
"I commend Congressmen Goodlatte, Costa, Womack and Welch for their leadership in introducing this legislation that will provide much needed relief to U.S. chicken producers and family farms that raise chickens," said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown. "After EPA’s refusal last fall to grant a waiver from the RFS in the face of the worst drought since the 1950s, it is abundantly clear the RFS is broken and needs to be reformed."
The legislation eliminates the conventional biofuels mandate, beginning in 2014, and rescinds the requirements of blending up to 15 percent ethanol into the fuel supply.
Brown noted that since the RFS was enacted, chicken producers alone have incurred $35 billion in cumulative additional feed costs.
"We have witnessed a dozen poultry companies file for bankruptcy, be sold or simply close their doors, due in large part to the extreme volatility and record high cost of corn associated with ethanol’s insatiable demand," he said.
"Chicken producers are certainly not anti-corn; and we’re not even anti-ethanol. What we are against is a government mandate that artificially inflates the price of corn, picks winners and punishes losers among those who depend on it. The Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act seeks to level this playing field by embracing free market principles," Brown concluded.
Also this afternoon, Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) and Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) introduced a separate bill, the Renewable Fuel Standard Amendments Act, which would solely zero-out corn from the RFS. NCC also supports this legislation as another vehicle to help alleviate the economic harm caused by the federal government’s misguided ethanol policy.