Energy Bill Doubling Grain Ethanol Mandate

US - The U.S. House of Representatives passed its energy bill that, if enacted into law, will double the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) from the current 7.5 billion gallons per year to a 15 billion gallon grain ethanol mandate. The bill, H.R.6, passed by a vote of 234-181.
calendar icon 10 December 2007
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“The net effect of this bill will be to increase the cost of meat and poultry to consumers.”

AMI President Patrick Boyle.

The American Meat Institute (AMI) called the passage of the bill counter-productive, noting that it will further drive up food prices as more corn is diverted from animal feed to use as fuel.

“We support efforts to increase U.S. energy security, but this bill takes a myopic approach by mandating grain-based ethanol increasing demand for corn even further than the record levels we’ve seen in the last 12 months,” AMI President Patrick Boyle said. “The net effect of this bill will be to increase the cost of meat and poultry to consumers.”

According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), meat, poultry and egg spending comprise 60 percent of the average consumer’s food dollar.

Boyle said there are many other common sense approaches that could be taken to enhance energy security without using food for fuel. An option to limit consequences on food security and livestock producers is to develop a clear mechanism to reduce the mandate in the case of projected food price increases, adverse weather conditions, harm to livestock producers, infrastructure bottlenecks, or other adverse consequences, he said.

Boyle also said that a 15 billion RFS for grain based fuels is far too high, adding that all interests impacted by the ethanol mandate should have the opportunity to request a waiver.

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