The House Energy Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Power Wednesday continued the second round of two-day testimonies regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard, seeking input from livestock, grain and environmental interests.
The hearing, titled "Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard: Stakeholder Perspectives," continues a review of the Renewable Fuel Standard kicked off earlier this year by a series of white papers and a June 26 subcommittee hearing.
Participants in the hearing included National Chicken Council Senior Vice President Bill Roenigk, National Council of Chain Restaurants representative Ed Anderson, Environmental Working Group Vice President of Government Affairs Scott Faber and Purdue University Professor of Ag Economics Chris Hurt.
Purdue's Hurt testified that the RFS, economically speaking, is driving up food prices and increasing the number of acres being put into corn production.
EWG's Scott Faber gave similar testimony, noting that, "the RFS was once heralded as a way to combat greenhouse gas emissions"; instead, Faber argued, the policy has actually increased emissions by encouraging farmers to plow up more than 23 million acres of land.
But while Faber slammed the RFS for contributing to more acres in production and thus more fertilizer and input use, he said second-generation biofuels have promise. Unfortunately, he noted, the marketplace is already too saturated by corn ethanol.
"To allow second-generation fuels to gain a foothold, Congress must reform the Renewable Fuel Standard to phase out the corn ethanol mandate. The RFS, as currently designed, simply does not provide a sufficiently powerful incentive to develop these fuels," he testified.