The National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council and the National Turkey Federation have once again urged Congress to repeal the Renewable Fuels Standard.
All three organizations recently spoke out in support of the Renewable Fuels Standard Repeal Act, introduced by Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Pat Toomey, R-Penn.
"Cattlemen and women are self-reliant, but in order to maintain that we cannot be asked to compete with federal mandates like the Renewable Fuels Standard for the limited supply of feed grains," according to Craig Uden, Nebraska cattle feeder from Elwood and NCBA policy vice chairman. When EPA is unable to provide even a temporary waiver of the RFS during the worst drought in 50 years, it is apparent the RFS is broken and we appreciate the efforts of Sens. Barrasso, Pryor and Toomey to fix this flawed program."
Joel Brandenbger, NTF president said, "The RFS has been such a poorly managed mess, it's time to drain the swamp. The RFS needs a fresh start in order to put in place a smarter policy on the mix of fuel and feed."
The RFS last year required 13.2 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol to be blended into
gasoline; it mandates that 13.9 billion gallons be blended in 2013, an amount that will use about 4.9 billion bushels of corn, or about 40% of the nation's crop, according to critics of the RFA.
"Chicken producers are already competing with the weather," said Mike Brown, NCC president. Why must we also compete with an inflexible federal mandate that voluntarily places another strain on our limited resources?"
The bill would let the free market decide whether corn should go to food or to fuel, Brown added.
Livestock and poultry groups called on the administration last fall to waive the RFS for the second time since 2008. In spite of the widespread drought and lowered harvest, EPA declined the request.