Concern over Damage by Renewable Fuels to US Chicken Production

US – A leading poultry sector spokesperson has warned of the dangers of using grain for fuel in a testimony before the House Subcommittee.
calendar icon 6 May 2014
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National Chicken Council Senior Vice President and Economist, Bill Roenigk, has spoken of good net margins but of the continued frustration around an inflexible renewable fuels policy.

He explained poultry production has been restrained by ethanol policy since 2006, unable to meet long term annual averages.

“The often-dismissed fact, especially today as grain prices moderate, is that the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) has inflicted deep and sustained damage to chicken production,” said Mr Roenigk.

“In the end, consumers are once again paying the price for a biofuels policy and programme that are broken beyond repair.”

He told the House that an extra $44 billion had been added to industry feed costs from the RFS.

“EPA’s proposal for the 2014 RFS reflects again clear evidence that our nation’s biofuels policy is broken, and broken well beyond repair,” he added.

“The issues of the blend wall, food versus fuel, mandates for non-existing cellulosic ethanol and other issues will not go away until Congress deals with the reality of the unworkable, unsustainable, imbalanced and misnomered RFS.”

Mr Roenigk also called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership significant “job creators,” and said their implementation would increase poultry exports, resulting in more jobs and more family farmers growing poultry.

In addition, Mr Roenigk called on Congress to promptly pass Trade Promotion Authority legislation so that the position of the US international trade negotiators is strengthened as they continue to move forward to successfully conclude these two critically important agreements.

Michael Priestley

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