(Posted Thu. Dec 12th, 2013)
Dec. 12: The National Corn Growers Association announced its strong opposition to a bill introduced today by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and eight cosponsors which would eliminate the corn ethanol mandate within the Renewable Fuel Standard. The bill, titled the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2013, not only finds basis in the fallacious food versus fuel and blend wall arguments but also would deny America the environmental benefits of biofuels.
NCGA President Martin Barbre directly addressed the proposed legislation saying:
“The bill introduced today by Senators Feinstein and Coburn rehashes arguments which have long been proven false and continues a relentless attack upon domestic, renewable ethanol. This attack on corn ethanol and our nation’s farmers would negatively impact the advancement of second generation renewable fuels.
“Furthermore, the actions proposed in this bill would not only decimate rural America but also wreak havoc upon urban air quality as it seeks to remove the ethanol blends which have led to reductions in vehicle-related pollution and improved the air near our nation’s population centers. These same consumers would be deprived consumers of the nearly dollar per gallon in fuel savings ethanol offers and would not reduce grocery bills as food costs, in large part, do not correlate with the price of corn.”
Cosponsors of the bill are Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.).
Notably, the introduction of this bill follows a statement by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) indicating that any legislation which would lower renewable fuel obligations under the mandate would face strong opposition. Following a Wednesday oversight hearing on the RFS in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, she said that, “as chairman of this committee, and I have the gavel for now, I'm not going to let us reverse course.... I'm just not."