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Friday RFS Roundup – 11/7

Now that the midterm elections have passed, consumers are looking to politicians and policymakers to carry out their word to amend the ethanol mandate. This week legislators and taxpayers discussed the future of the post-election American economy as the White House Office of Management and Budget reviews the EPA’s ethanol proposal.

More from this week:

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey sees 'huge opportunity' with incoming GOP Senate majority:

In Short: “U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. said he's going to be focusing on a ‘pro-growth agenda’ — ‘agenda that will help encourage economic growth in Pennsylvania.’ That entails, Toomey said, approving the Keystone XL pipeline, approving the exporting of liquefied natural gas, and a ‘rollback’ of ‘the ethanol mandate.’"

For Cellulosic Ethanol Makers, The Road Ahead Is Still Uphill:

In Short: “For the Environmental Working Group’s Craig Cox, the economic and policy complications raise important questions for both the industry and policymakers. ‘I think it raises the larger question,’ Cox said. ‘Are we on the right biofuel road?’ If we could wipe the slate clean, and sit down and say, ‘OK, we want a biofuel that could make a substantial contribution to reducing fossil fuels, and would actually reduce greenhouse gases from liquid transportation, and was good for the environment, good for the air, good for soil, good for water — would we have picked corn ethanol?’ he said. ‘I think the answer is clearly no.’”

Enough of big ethanol bullying consumers:

In Short: “For taxpayers, Big Ethanol’s attempt at manipulating the market is also economically damaging. The increased costs for equipment upgrades and compliance credits on fuel suppliers will contribute to higher gas prices. Just this year, the Congressional Budget Office found that the RFS will raise the price of regular E10 gasoline by as much as 26 cents per gallon. It’s no wonder consumers have demonstrated no interest in consuming any more ethanol than they already do.”

Friday RFS Roundup – 10/24

Discussion this week focused on the diversity in challenges and consequences facing the ethanol mandate from environmental damage to low consumer demand for biofuels.

More from this week:

Will Biofuels Be Better For Plastics Than For Vehicle Fuel?:

In Short: “Increased ethanol production is required to meet government mandates, but low demand for the fuel from consumers is leading companies now in production to seek out other uses for their alcohol fuel.”

EPA’s Sleight of Hand on Cellulosic Fuel Rule Change:

In Short: “Unfortunately, the EPA, which was created to protect the nation’s land, water, and air from pollution, has become a politicized propaganda instrument for the administration’s biofuels agenda, and is intent on pushing an RFS policy that is undermining its institutional mandates in addition to harming Americans more directly.”

Corn Belt Pollution: Louisiana Shrimp And Oysters Pay The Price:

In Short: “Nitrogen run-off from the nation’s booming Corn Belt is the single largest source of nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River basin, which drains a stunning 41 percent of the waterways in the contiguous United States. Massive amounts of water, sediment and nutrients wash off cornfields from as far away as Minnesota, enter the Mississippi River system, and eventually reach the Gulf. The problem may worsen if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raises the ethanol mandate for blended gasoline next month—despite earlier commitments to reduce it. Fully one-third of corn grown in the U.S. already goes to ethanol refiners today, and that number could climb.”

Corn Ethanol is Not a Renewable Fuel

Broken Promises of the Ethanol Mandate

The Real Cost of the Ethanol Mandate

The Truth about Ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard

State of the Union BINGO

Tonight President Obama will address the joint houses of Congress, as well as the American people, setting the agenda for the executive branch for the coming year.

For those in DC, it’s a big night out, but if you’d like to play along at home while watching the State of the Union, we’re happy to oblige.

Download our SOTU Bingo cards and every time President Obama mentions an RFS consequence or something political ridiculous happens, mark your card!

Also – today is the last day for you to tell the EPA to lower the ethanol mandate. Make sure you tell the EPA you support lowering the mandate!

Bedfellows Coalition Letter to the House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee

Letter of Concerns to the Energy and Commerce Committee

On Oct. 7, a diverse group of agriculture, business, environment, food retail, hunger, taxpayer, and public interest groups petitioned Congress demanding reform of the Renewable Fuel Standard. The group asked that "any legislation that the Committee considers recognizes and addresses the havoc that the corn ethanol mandate has placed on the multitude of stakeholder interests represented on this letter."

The signers included:

Action Aid USA
American Frozen Food Institute
American Meat Institute
American Sportfishing Association
Boat US
California Dairy Campaign
California Poultry Federation
Clean Air Task Force
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Dairy Producers of New Mexico
Dairy Producers of Utah
Environmental Working Group
Freedom Action
Friends of the Earth
Idaho Dairymen’s Association
Indiana State Poultry Association
Iowa Turkey Federation
Marine Retailers Association of the Americas
Michigan Allied Poultry, Inc.
Milk Producers Council
Minnesota Turkey Growers Association
National Chicken Council
National Council of Chain Restaurants
National Marine Manufacturers Association
National Restaurant Association
National Taxpayers Union
National Turkey Federation
Nevada State Dairy Commission
Northwest Dairy Association
North American Meat Association
North Carolina Poultry Federation
Oregon Dairy Farmers Association
Oxfam America
Southeast Milk, Inc.
Specialty Equipment Market Association
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Texas Egg Council
Texas Broiler Council
Texas Poultry Federation
Texas Turkey Federation
The Poultry Federation
Virginia Poultry Federation
Washington State Dairy Federation
Wisconsin Poultry & Egg Industries Association

Oversight Committee Hearing Examining EPA’s Role in the Renewable Fuel Standard

This week, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing to “[examine] EPA’s Role in the Renewable Fuel Standard.” Witnesses from the Environmental Protection Agency, American Petroleum Institute, Energy Policy Research Foundation Inc., National Turkey Foundation and the Union of Concerned Scientists discussed the issue from their respective points of view.

Read the comments below for more perspective on the effect of the Renewable Fuel Standard on jobs and the economy, rising food prices for people and animals alike, engine damage and the environment.  

Rep. Lankford’s opening comments
Mr. Christopher Grundler, EPA, testimony
Mr. Jack Gerard, API, testimony
Mr. Lucian Pugliaresi, EPRINC, testimony
Mr. Joel Brandenberger, NTF, testimony
Jeremy I. Martin, Ph.D., UCS, testimony