Ethanol Supporters Respond to RFS Critics

The American Coalition for Ethanol is criticizing a new study on the Renewable Fuel Standard issued by Farm Econ LLC  -saying the study is slanted and misleading.

ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings released the following statement in response.

“While the groups paying for this study feel entitled to cheap corn forever and are shamelessly exploiting the drought as an excuse to roll back the RFS, there is no credible evidence to justify reducing or waiving it. The fact is the RFS is helping reduce dependence on foreign oil, moderating gas prices, and securing jobs in rural America. Both USDA Secretary Vilsack and U.S. Senator Stabenow, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee have indicated the drought is not an excuse to waive or repeal the RFS. Ethanol plants are responding to corn prices and curbing production. Scaling back the RFS via legislation or a waiver won’t change these market dynamics.”

National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer released the following statement in response to media coverage and Capitol briefings on the drought, food prices and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“This is a time when farmers and ranchers are suffering the nation’s worst drought in years, covering nearly two-thirds of our country’s land mass. Like any crisis, it has led to numerous inaccuracies and exaggerations, especially when it comes to the impact on food supply and retail food prices. When it comes to the Renewable Fuel Standard for ethanol and other biofuels, now is not the time for changes. It’s working. And while it is true that our corn crop is suffering, it’s still in the field.  We won’t know the actual size of the 2012 corn crop until months from now. Given the challenges of the drought and suffering of all farmers, now more than ever, U.S. agriculture needs to pull together.  NCGA will continue to help lead the way in trying to unite, rather than divide, American agriculture.”

Although there has been speculation that the Environmental Protection Agency might lower the RFS mandate in order to take pressure off of rising corn prices, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has said there’s no need to go to the EPA at this point, based on the quantity of ethanol that’s currently in storage.