The National Chicken Council voiced strong support for congressional action to fix the federal ethanol mandate, the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), as Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.) introduced the RFS Reform Act in the House of Representatives.

"I'd like to thank Representatives Goodlatte, Welch, Womack and Costa – the Four Horsemen –  for introducing this bipartisan and common sense legislation to repeal the corn ethanol mandate under the RFS," said NCC President Mike Brown, who participated in the press conference about the bill's introduction.  "Since the RFS was enacted, chicken producers alone have incurred almost $50 billion in cumulative additional feed costs.  The RFS is a mess, and NCC will support measures such as this to fix it."

If passed into law, the bill would eliminate the corn based ethanol mandate under the RFS, reduce the overall requirements of cellulosic ethanol not filled by advanced biofuels, and rescind the requirements to blend 15-percent ethanol into the fuel supply.  

Other associations also voiced their support.

“The government mandated Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is unequivocally broken.  The most recent example is the EPA failure to follow-through on its plan to stop increasing the amount of feed corn siphoned off into fuel. ‘The RFS Reform Act’ takes decisive action to remove the corn ethanol mandate and its negative consequences to food production and consumers everywhere,” said National Turkey Federation President Joel Brandenberger. 

“The National Turkey Federation encourages Congress to finally take action and pass the reform legislation… to remove the sluggish corn ethanol mandate clogging America’s food and fuel system.  EPA’s failure to finalize its initial 2014 proposal to reduce Renewable Fuel Standard levels for corn ethanol blended into gasoline proves the RFS mandate is fundamentally flawed and unworkable. Uncertainty in the marketplace from the RFS corn ethanol mandate, since the beginning, has caused volatility in the supply of corn available as the crucial ingredient in turkey and other livestock feed. Congress set the RFS mandate into motion, and should make a reasoned decision to pass legislation to free corn ethanol from this process of indecision.”

“Frozen food and beverage makers and their suppliers believe food should be used to fuel bodies, not vehicle engines,” said American Frozen Foods Institute President and CEO Kraig R. Naasz.  “We thank Reps. Goodlatte and Welch for leading efforts to reform the Renewable Fueld Standard.”

“Corn is a vital part of America’s food supply, both as an animal feed and a food ingredient.  The staggering amount of corn needed to produce ethanol can cause tremendous price volatility, making meat, dairy, wheat and soybeans all more expensive.  Many of the most popular frozen foods and prepared meals are made with these ingredients, exposing food makers and consumers to higher prices,” said Naasz.

Sources: NCC, NTF, AFFI