Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Steve Womack (R-AR) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Reform Act on Thursday to ease what its proponents argue are impacts of the ethanol mandate on consumers, energy producers, livestock and poultry producers, food manufacturers, retailers and the U.S. economy, according to a Meatingplace.com report.
The legislation would eliminate the biofuels mandate, beginning in 2014, and rescind the requirements of blending up to 15% ethanol into the fuel supply, according to animal protein lobby groups such as the National Chicken Council.
NCC President Mike Brown noted, for example, that since the RFS was enacted chicken producers alone have incurred $35 billion in cumulative additional feed costs.
"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 said in a news release.
Also on Thursday, 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.
The Renewable Fuels Association, however, called the legislation "silly" and that it reflected "circular logic."
“You can’t legitimately say ‘we support biofuels’ and then pull the rug out from underneath companies that relied upon government policy and are now building biorefineries that create hundreds of construction jobs at each location or are hitting milestones in new production,” RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen said in a news release.