A spokesman for the National Chicken Council said today that the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to allow 15 percent ethanol in motor gasoline for older-model cars and light trucks is “another giveaway to the ethanol interests” that could lead to higher food prices due to increased demand for corn, the principal feedstock for ethanol.
“EPA’s decision is another giveaway to the ethanol interests and again demonstrates EPA cannot or will not balance the broad national interests on this issue,” said Bill Roenigk, senior vice president and chief economist for NCC.
“E15 may be good for ethanol producers and corn farmers, but it is clearly detrimental to all other interested parties,” he added. “To the extent EPA and the ethanol industry actually manage to force more ethanol into the nation’s motor gasoline, they will put even more pressure on the already very tight supply of corn. When consumers ask why their food costs are higher, it will be difficult for EPA to explain that today’s decision had no impact on the food shopper’s dollar,” Roenigk said.
Chicken producers are major users of corn, which has more than doubled in price in recent years as the federal ethanol mandate has kicked in. EPA’s decision today responded to a petition from Growth Energy, an association of ethanol producers.
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce and process chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.