Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Steve Womack (R-AR), and Peter Welch (D-VT) released the following statement on April 10, regarding the introduction of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Reform Act in the U.S. House of Representatives:
“The RFS debate is no longer just a debate about fuel or food. It is also a debate about jobs, small business, and economic growth. The federal government’s creation of an artificial market for the ethanol industry has quite frankly triggered a domino effect that is hurting American consumers, energy producers, livestock producers, food manufacturers, and retailers. The broad coalition of organizations supporting this legislation echo the same sentiment: The RFS is not working.”
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be part of our nation’s fuel supply by 2022. Almost all of this is currently being fulfilled by corn ethanol. In 2011, five billion bushels of the corn supply was used for ethanol — equal to nearly 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop. While the RFS is causing food prices to go up, the RFS has not provided relief for consumers at the pump. In fact, citing the RFS, the EPA is setting the target for refiners to blend cellulosic biofuels into gasoline higher than the amount of cellulosic biofuels that exists. When these non-existent fuels cannot be blended, refiners are financially penalized, which ultimately gets passed on to consumers at the pump.
“The RFS Reform Act will eliminate corn-based ethanol requirements, cap the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent, and require the EPA to set cellulosic biofuels levels at production levels. Renewable fuels play an important role in our energy policy but should compete fairly in the marketplace. This legislation will bring the fundamental reform this unworkable federal policy needs now.”
The RFS Reform Act is supported by a diverse group of more than 40 organizations, including ActionAid USA, the American Frozen Food Institute, the American Meat Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Environmental Working Group, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Milk Producers Council, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Chicken Council, the National Council of Chain Restaurants, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the National Restaurant Association, the National Taxpayers Union, the National Turkey Federation, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), and Taxpayers for Commonsense.
In response to the aforementioned news issued by Congressman Goodlatte, Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI, issued the following statement:
“The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) strongly supports efforts to hit the pause button on E15 entering the marketplace. It’s clear that reform of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program is needed since the underlying assumptions used to develop the RFS have not been met: E85 use is not expanding, gasoline consumption peaked in 2007 and continues to fall, and advanced and cellulosic fuels (non corn ethanol) are not available.
“Consumers are growing increasingly wary of ethanol-related issues and evidence in the marketplace that shows product damage and engine failure. Adding to the confusion is the fact that 15-percent ethanol is dangerous — and is in fact illegal — to use in any non-road engine equipment, such as boats, utility vehicles, chain saws, snow throwers, generators, mowers, motorcycles, snowmobiles, power washers, lawn tractors, trimmers, edgers, pruners, chippers, shredders and blowers and other small engine uses, such as in irrigation, well systems and pumps, for example.
“This legislation will go a long way to protect the 150 million Americans using 400 million pieces of engine equipment for which E15 is not a legal fuel.
“We welcome this legislation and are pleased that Members of Congress are addressing this critical challenge for the engine products industry.”