Restaurant Owners Join Fight Against RFS

Cindy Zimmerman

The National Council of Chain Restaurants today joined the fight against the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) with the release of a new report on its impact on the chain restaurant industry, commodity prices and the food supply chain.

The study, which was conducted by PwC, “concluded that the RFS mandate could cost chain restaurants up to $3.2 billion annually, with quick-service restaurants witnessing cost increases upward of $2.5 billion, and full-service restaurants seeing increases upward of $691 million.”

Ethanol industry representatives called the study “flawed” and “misleading” and said it failed to take many factors into account. “The true culprit behind rising food prices is the cost of energy, and in particular oil,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “Only 14 percent of the price of food is attributable to the cost of the commodity, while the rest can be attributed to energy costs and marketing. The processing, packaging, wrapping, storage, refrigeration and transportation costs are the true drivers in price increases.”

American Coalition for Ethanol
Executive Vice President Brian Jennings says the council of chain restaurants is ‘out to lunch’ on the RFS. “Contrary to their claims, a recent fact-based analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and EPA showed that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has virtually no impact on food prices, so we encourage the media to take this fast-food study with as much salt as you’d find in one of their meals,” said Jennings.

“They lost in their bid for a waiver of the RFS, so now they are resorting to super-sized myths about the impact of the RFS on food prices. Every reasonable analysis of the factors influencing food prices has concluded that the cost of diesel fuel, gasoline, and other energy inputs is the major driver. This study conveniently avoids that issue,” said Bob Dinneen, President of the Renewable Fuels Association.

Listen to Dinneen’s comments here: RFA president Bob Dinneen

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) announced at the NCCR press conference this morning says the report supports his legislation “The Renewable Fuels Elimination Act” HR3098. “This is a bipartisan effort,” Goodlatte said, noting that a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson encouraging a waiver of the RFS was signed by 156 members of the House. “That group provides a basis for moving forward with legislation that would do what unfortunately she chose not to do.”

Goodlatte says he is hopeful that the RFS will either be reformed or eliminated in the next Congress.

Listen to Goodlatte’s comments here: Congressman Bob Goodlatte

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