House Members Ask EPA to Relax Renewable Fuel Mandate
According to a report by the Houston Chronicle, the bipartisan group, headed by U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, (R-Va.), wrote that the EPA must lower 2014 renewable fuel requirements to stabilize the market for biofuel credits and keep prices down for corn.
"The U.S. corn market has been increasingly volatile since the expansion of the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2007," the lawmakers wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "Ethanol now consumes more corn than animal agriculture, a fact directly attributable to the federal mandate."
A draft of 2014 proposed volume requirements, obtained by several media sources, would set the requirements for corn-based ethanol at 13 billion gallons, while lowering quotas for other categories, such as advanced biofuels. The RFS required that 13.8 gallons of ethanol be blended this year.
Although the 2014 requirement would be a slight decline in ethanol used, politicians have stated it is nowhere near enough, and the RFS was enacted at a very different time, when fuel consumption was expected to increase annually. But, government data shows U.S. fuel consumption has decreased every year since 2007, due to a poor economic climate and more fuel efficient vehicles on the road.
However, Growth Energy, an organization that represents the producers and supporters of ethanol, said Goodlatte's letter is misguided.
"It appears that the ‘cheap corn caucus’ is back at it again, looking for ways to get below the cost of production corn at the expense of American farmers, American energy security, consumer choice and savings at the pump," said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. "Despite false claims that biofuels are increasing the cost of corn, those who signed this letter failed to review the facts and recognize that just yesterday corn was trading at a 37-month low."