The NCCR has submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the agency’s proposal to reduce the levels of corn ethanol mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
NCCR Executive Director Rob Green said, ‘the EPA’s decision to modestly reduce the levels of corn ethanol marks a historic shift in the food versus fuel debate, and is the first, public sign from the government that its artificial quotas, mandated by the RFS, are unrealistic and arbitrary. Although the proposal is a small first step in the right direction, it is really up to Congress to address the unworkable and unfair RFS.’
NCCR versus the RFS
The NCCR is a vocal critic of the government’s ethanol policy as it believes it distorts agriculture and commodity markets, artificially inflates the price of corn, and sharply raises food costs and prices for restaurant owners, operators, franchises, small business owners and the general dining public.
In support of the contention that the ethanol mandate has increased costs, NCCR provided the EPA with the results of a PwC study that concluded that the corn ethanol mandate, when fully implemented in 2015, would raise chain restaurant food costs by up to US$ 3.2 billion /y every year it remains law.
‘In recent years, food commodity costs for chain restaurants and their small business franchises have increased dramatically,’ Green said. ‘This increase has happened to coincide with the enactment and implementation of the RFS.’
The EPA responded to concerns about the RFS last year in a policy reversal and proposed to reduce the corn ethanol levels for 2014 to 13.01 billion gal. from 13.8 billion gal. Food supply chain stakeholders, including NCCR, believe that corn quota is still too high.
Green said, ‘the proposed volumes will continue to provide incentives to overplant corn, which will unfortunately continue the distortions in food commodity costs that have existed since the enactment of the RFS. Poultry and livestock farmers, food processors and food retailers such as restaurants have borne the brunt of higher food commodity prices caused by the RFS since its enactment.’
NCCR has created a coalition of food supply chain partners called Feed Food Fairness and launched a public awareness campaign to educate policymakers about the true costs of the RFS mandate.
Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd
Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/gas-processing/29012014/further_ethanol_reductions_wanted_nccr/