US poultry economist to testify at RFS hearing
National Chicken Council (NCC) senior vice president and chief economist Bill Roenigk will tell the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), at least for conventional biofuels, is broken beyond repair, and that it is imperative at this time for Congress to take a critical, hard look at the RFS.
“I commend the Energy and Commerce Committee for taking up the important task of holding hearings on the RFS and its impacts on the economy,” said Roenigk. “As Subcommittee Chairman Whitfield noted in the announcement about the hearing the ‘RFS is a broad and complex statute… now is the time to take an in-depth look at the RFS and compare our original expectation for the program with the actual experience.’”
Roenigk’s testimony follows NCC’s white paper comments released in April to the Energy and Commerce Committee that argued the federal government’s mandate for corn-based ethanol has been the single, most important, major driver impacting the corn market since the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was implemented.
“Since 2007, all chicken producers, at times, have struggled financially,” Roenigk will state in his testimony. “Some have struggled longer and more severely than others. The business disruptions directly impact the over 25,000 family farmers who grow the chickens, and the more than 300,000 employees directly working for the chicken companies. Since October 2006 through this month, July 2013, poultry and egg producers have had to bear the burden of higher feed costs totaling over $50 billion.”
Roenigk will testify on the third of three panels the committee will hear this week as part of their two-day hearing entitled, “Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard: Stakeholder Perspectives.” Other panelists today include: Pam Johnson, President of the National Corn Growers Association; Ed Anderson, CEO of Wen-Gap LLC on behalf of the National Council of Chain Restaurants; Chris Hurt, Professor of Agriculture Economics at Perdue University; and Scott Faber, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Environmental Working Group. This third panel succeeds two panels involving leaders from petroleum, biofuels and other energy-related groups.
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