In response to legislation to be introduced today by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) that would repeal the corn ethanol portion of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, issued the following statement.
“Just like their previous failed attempt, this legislation is incredibly shortsighted. Nearly identical legislation has been introduced in the past and has always failed to gain any traction since a majority of senators understand the importance of homegrown, American renewable fuels. This bill would eviscerate the RFS – the most successful energy policy enacted in the last 40 years. It will continue to keep us addicted to foreign oil and more than anything, it seems like this legislation is appeasing the wishes of Big Oil and Big Food.
“Additionally, this legislation is based on false, misleading information. To blame ethanol for an increase in the price of food may make for good rhetoric, but it is completely devoid of any facts to back it up. Corn ethanol is not the cause of higher food prices; it is the price of oil that is responsible. Even the World Bank outlined how crude oil prices are responsible for over 50 percent of the increase in food prices since 2004. Countess studies have shown that oil prices, Wall Street speculators and the high costs of manufacturing, packaging and transportation are the true culprits driving up food prices. Furthermore, 2014 yielded a record corn crop and the price of corn dropped precipitously throughout the harvest, even as food costs increased.
“The authors of this legislation fail to understand the actual process of how ethanol is produced. Only the starch is removed, while all of the valuable components – the fiber, oil and protein are returned to the food chain in the form of a high protein animal feed.
“Additionally, ethanol has clear environmental benefits. According to the Argonne National Laboratory, compared to gasoline, ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 34 percent. Advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 100 percent in comparison to gasoline.
“If this legislation was adopted, it would embrace the status quo of our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, concede we no longer are serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and seek to pursue a policy that would result in massive upheaval and job loss in today’s booming rural economy.
“It appears to me, this legislation is nothing more than a concession to demands of Big Oil and Big Food, who care more about their own bottom line than the American consumer. Furthermore, this is a slap in the face to consumers who deserve a choice and savings when they go to fill up at the pump.”