Battle Over RFS Heats Up With Drought

Cindy Zimmerman

With 78 percent of the corn crop suffering from drought, livestock and poultry groups are renewing calls for changing the ethanol requirements in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2).

During a press conference today sponsored by livestock and poultry interests, Cong. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said he has introduced two bills – one to eliminate the RFS and one to reform it. “Additionally, I strongly believe that given the drought conditions gripping our nation, the administrator of the EPA should reduce the RFS mandate for this year and do it now,” he said.

Listen to Goodlatte’s comments here: Cong. Goodlatte on RFS

Supporters of the RFS point to ethanol stocks and the Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) system built into the law for just such a natural disaster. “Strong supplies of ethanol in storage, an oversupply of 2.5 billion Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), and a smaller gasoline market that reduces the actual 2012 RFS requirement to just approximately 13.04 billion gallons are all indicators that the RFS will work in 2012 and 2013,” said Matt Hartwig with the Renewable Fuels Association. “To be certain, conditions facing American farmers are challenging. However, the market will act to ration corn demand and the RIN mechanism of the RFS will provide a cushion for refiners and other obligated parties to comply with RFS requirements.”

“When it comes to the Renewable Fuel Standard for ethanol and other biofuels, now is not the time for changes. It’s working. The RFS is revitalizing rural America, reducing our dependence on foreign fuel and reducing the cost of gasoline. Making changes to the RFS now would only ensure that consumers suffer due to significantly higher fuel prices,” said National Corn Growers Association president Garry Niemeyer. “Given the challenges of the drought and suffering of all farmers, now more than ever, U.S. agriculture needs to pull together. NCGA will continue to help lead the way in trying to unite, rather than divide, American agriculture.”

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government, NCGA, RFA