The ethanol industry has seen some major changes this past month — everything from reversing the year-round sale of E15 to legislation from the House and Senate that would support the year-round sale. However, yesterday a new bipartisan bill was proposed to eliminate the corn ethanol volume mandate completely.
Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act, a bill to end the corn ethanol mandate in the Renewable Fuel Standard.
According to the senators, the bill would help reduce carbon emissions from transportation fuels by removing the volume requirements for corn ethanol while leaving in place the volume obligations for advanced and cellulosic biofuels and biodiesel. However, corn groups and the ethanol industry quickly showed opposition and said removing the mandate would actually increase harmful emissions and use of fossil fuels.
The National Corn Growers Association President John Linder said, “This bill is ill conceived and would have a devastating impact on air quality, the diversity of our energy supply, fuel prices and rural economies. Blending ethanol into the fuel supply is one of the most effective ways to lower carbon emissions to combat climate change and replace the most toxic components of gasoline.”
Today’s corn growers sustainably produce more corn on less land with fewer resources than when the RFS was enacted and are committed to further improvements in sustainability. These extraordinary results have been accomplished as food price inflation has decreased as ethanol production has grown.
“The RFS has been an incredibly successful policy, thanks to the innovation and contributions of corn farmers,” said Linder. “If you want to understand today’s sustainable corn and ethanol production, you can always ask a farmer for the facts. If Members of Congress want to reduce use of the low carbon renewable fuels that have enabled successful environmental policies, this bill would certainly do it.”
NCGA pointed to today’s corn and ethanol production facts in support of the mandate: