(Posted Wed. Apr 10th, 2013)
Apr. 10: Today, a group of House members introduced legislation calling for changes to the renewable fuel standard. Led by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the legislation, called the "RFS Reform Act," would eliminate the corn-based ethanol requirements and would cap the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent. It would require the EPA to set cellulosic biofuel levels at production levels. National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson, a farmer from Floyd, Iowa, issued the following statement in response to this legislation on behalf of the organization and the 300,000 corn farmers which it represents:
“NCGA stands firm in its support of the Renewable Fuel Standard and will strongly oppose legislation to alter or repeal the RFS.
“In 2005, Congress originally passed the RFS to enhance energy security, reduce consumer fuel prices by diversifying our energy portfolio, create jobs and stimulate economic activity, and improve the environment. The legislation has succeeded in achieving these goals and provides real benefits to the American public.
“Since 2005, oil import dependence has fallen from 60.3 percent to 45 percent in 2011. Additionally, the ethanol industry contributed more than $42 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2011, generated nearly $30 billion in household income and saved consumers a minimum of 25 cents per gallon at the pump.
“Close analysis of claims that ethanol production, and thus the RFS, drive up consumer food costs prove false. While some sectors of the nation’s food supply have seen price increases over the past year, many other sectors which also rely on corn, including milk, turkey and pork prices, have fallen.
“The RFS has helped rebuild rural America, allowing our children to come back to the farm and supporting many businesses in our communities.
“America’s corn farmers stand strong against this attack on the RFS and urge our representatives in the House to join us in opposing this legislation. The RFS has made significant progress toward a more economically, environmentally, energy secure future. We must stay the course”
Co-sponsors include Reps. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.).