Calling it a "huge step backward" for energy independence, the National Corn Growers on Wednesday made it clear that a reintroduced RFS Reform Act from Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., wasn't welcome.
"Once again, Rep. Goodlatte and his colleagues have put Big Oil ahead of America’s corn farmers. The Renewable Fuel Standard is working," NCGA President Chip Bowling said in a released statement.
Goodlatte, along with Reps. Jim Costa, D-Calif., Steve Womack, R-Ark., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., introduced the bill, which would eliminate RFS' the corn-based ethanol requirement, cap the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10% and require the EPA to set cellulosic biofuels levels at production levels.
The Congressmen said the bill hurts consumers by driving up food costs and creating wear and tear on vehicles through ethanol use.
RFS concerns also encompass regulatory issues as the U.S. EPA, the agency in charge of the policy, has not yet released final 2014 or 2015 RFS volumes, the Representatives said.
"The Renewable Fuel Standard is a well-intentioned flop. The corn-based ethanol mandate is driving up the cost of feed for struggling dairy farmers. It’s driving up the cost of food for working families. And it’s ruining the engines of boats, chainsaws and snowmobiles in Vermont and across the country," Welch said.
Farm groups rebutted comments in support of the bill, pointing to economic impacts of biofuels production.
According to the NCGA, the renewable fuels industry drives an estimated $184.5 billion in economic output and supports more than 850,000 jobs.
"Farmers answered the call for energy that is clean, renewable, and American-grown. They have produced a second consecutive record crop, with more than enough corn to meet our needs for food, fuel, feed and fiber," NCGA's Bowling said. "Repealing the RFS would increase the cost of farm programs, hurt rural communities, and make America more dependent on foreign oil."
NCGA's concerns were confirmed by Growth Energy and the National Farmers Union.
"The elimination of the corn-based ethanol mandate and blend cap will gut the nation’s biofuel production, strand existing investment in second generation biofuel production and hurt family farmers, ranchers and rural communities that have experienced much-needed reinvestment from this policy," NFU President Roger Johnson said.