Following the introduction of the bipartisan Renewable Fuels Standard Repeal Act, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), National Chicken Council (NCC) and the National Turkey Federation (NTF) are urging Congress to repeal the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).
“Chicken producers are already competing with the weather,” said NCC President Mike Brown. “Why must we also compete with an inflexible federal mandate that voluntarily places another strain on our limited resources? I commend Sens. Barrasso, Pryor and Toomey for taking an approach that would let the free market decide whether corn should go to food or to fuel.”
The RFS last year required 13.2 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol to be blended into gasoline; it mandates that 13.9 billion gallons be blended in 2013, an amount that will use about 4.9 billion bushels of corn, or about 40% of the nation’s crop.
“RFS has been such a poorly managed mess, it’s time to drain the swamp,” said NTF President Joel Brandenberger. “The RFS needs a fresh start in order to put in place a smarter policy on the mix of fuel and feed. Animal agriculture has long been suffering at the hand of this broken policy, especially feed costs in the turkey business. The RFS has caused an increase of $1.9 billion in feed cost alone for turkey farmers, as corn continues to be syphoned off to ethanol.”
Livestock and poultry groups called on the administration last fall to waive the RFS, for the second time since 2008. And for the second time, in spite of the widespread drought and lowered harvest, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refused to use the safety valve built into the biofuels mandate.
NCBA, NCC and NTF call on Congress to repeal the RFS to ensure market stability certainty for rural American economies.