The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday proposed once again to keep the mandated volume for conventional ethanol use for 2018 at the statutory maximum of 15 billion gallons. In proposing this level, EPA has breached the 10 percent blend wall and will continue to subsidize the over production of ethanol, far in excess of the statutory maximum, which will divert corn from America’s food and feed use to foreign energy markets.
In crafting the Renewable Fuel Standard, Congress set a cap on conventional ethanol at 15 billion gallons to prevent ethanol production from artificially diverting too great a volume of corn from feed, food, and seed use to energy. At the time Congress set this cap, ethanol exports were not envisioned. However, last year ethanol exports exceeded one billion gallons, diverting more corn away from domestic feed and food markets to foreign energy markets.
“Ethanol exports add nothing to U.S. energy security and the RFS is not being administered in keeping with Congressional intent,” said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown. “The RFS bureaucracy has taken on a life of its own and it is time for Congress to stop this runaway train. American chicken producers are only one drought, flood or freeze away from another crisis, while the ethanol industry is protected by federal mandates. The RFS has cost our members $60 billion more in feed costs since it was implemented. The RFS is broken. It is time for Congress to reform it.”