Sign the pledge below to call on Congress to revisit the failed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and enact common-sense policies that put your right to safety and value first.
American taxpayers, families and workers—come on down! In 2007, Congress made you an unwitting game show contestant when they expanded the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a program that mandates large quantities of biofuel—made from corn and other biomass—be blended into the fuel supply. The twist in this game show? It's your money on the line, and only ethanol producers are winning.
The RFS mandate affects the prices of two of America’s (and the world’s) most vital commodities—food and fuel. In 2011, 40 percent of the nation’s corn crop was processed into biofuel, rather than food and livestock feed. The shrinking supply of corn for food has caused prices to spike nearly 18 percent, raising food costs for a family of four between $1,344 and $2,658 per year. In December, the National Council of Chain Restaurants released a study, which estimates that by 2015, when the RFS is fully phased-in, the mandate will increase total costs for chain restaurant owners by up to $3.2 billion per year. Anti-hunger groups have also taken note. In October 2012, ActionAid released a study outlining how RFS-related food price increases put developing countries at risk of famine.
Ethanol could also increase fuel costs. Experts have said that RFS mandates are likely to increase ethanol prices by 18.8 percent, raising the cost of gasoline, which is required to be blended with ethanol. In fact, fuel that is up to 85 percent ethanol is more expensive than pure gasoline, even with today’s petroleum prices and biodiesel costs more than $1.50 more per gallon to produce.
What’s more, ethanol producers received $20 billion in taxpayer subsidies between 2005 and 2011—$64 for every American.
And these are just a few of the ways Americans are forced to play a losing hand. Check out the infographic below to learn more about how RFS impacts your wallet, and browse this site to learn how RFS and U.S. biofuels policy affect the economy, food prices, engine performance and the environment.
If you agree that Americans deserve a Smarter Fuel Future, sign our pledge to demand change.
Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family. For many, the holiday also evokes images of football, cornucopias, pilgrims and a table filled with traditional food, including pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and roasted turkey with stuffing.
In fact, nearly 88 percent of American families are expected to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. But the economics of hosting Thanksgiving dinner for extended family can be challenging. This year, as food prices continue to rise, some might want to pass their wallets along with the peas and carrots.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s survey, turkey dinner and all the fixings for 10 people will cost $49.48, or about 35 percent more than it did when the Renewable Fuel Standard was first passed in 2005.
This is a result of the worst drought in more than 50 years and an energy policy that diverts 40 percent of our corn crop away from food and animal feed in order to meet the current ethanol mandate. Prioritizing fuel over food has real impacts on global poverty rates, our national security and the prices we pay at the supermarket.
The below infographic details the widespread impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard on the food spectrum and Thanksgiving dinner in particular.
If you believe there is a smarter way forward, tell your family and friends about ethanol’s negative impact on your Thanksgiving dinner and sign up to receive updates from SmarterFuelFuture.org.
Infographic showing what the food energy value is of the corn used to produce ethanol. (Source: NPR)
Infographic showing the consumer costs of E15, including higher prices at the pump, less "GO" per gallon and engine damage.