Broken Policy Inspires Bipartisan Cooperation

March 5, 2015

In today’s divisive Congressional environment, the last thing we expect is bipartisan agreement, let alone bi-coastal agreement in both chambers of Congress. But the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is so broken, Democrat Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Republican Pat Toomey (R-PA), who represent districts almost 3000 miles apart, have found common ground with the Corn Ethanol Elimination Act of 2015. Despite the senators differing political ideals and constituent priorities, the RFS, which mandates that billions of gallons of ethanol are blended into America’s fuel supply each year, manages to disappoint both — and almost everyone in between.

Feinstein is taking this action to protect her constituents—dairy farmers, conservationists and everyday consumers—from the increasing animal feed prices, greenhouse gas emissions and higher grocery costs caused by the ethanol mandate, which diverts more than 40 percent of U.S. corn crops from the food chain into our gas tanks.

“The federal mandate for corn ethanol is both unwise and unworkable… If the mandate continues to expand toward full implementation, the price of corn will increase. According to the Congressional Budget Office, that would mean as much as $3.5 billion each year in increased food costs. Americans living on the margins simply can't afford that,” said Sen. Feinstein.

For the conservative Toomey in Pennsylvania, repealing the corn ethanol mandate shields both the business owners and drivers that he represents. The law’s inflexibility and the administration’s inability to actually issue a rule for 2014 means unavoidable, costly penalties for the small refineries in his district that keep the economy moving and Pennsylvanians employed. Those penalties and the ever-increasing nature of RFS could mean higher gas prices for Americans, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

“Once again, this is the government using corporate welfare to shower money on a favored industry and then send the bill to the general public. Labor leaders, businesses, and environmental groups have lined up to push back against this harmful regulatory regime,” said Sen. Toomey.

The Renewable Fuel Standard forces all of America to pay for a broken policy that benefits only the few protected by the powerful ethanol lobby. We’d like to thank Senators Feinstein and Toomey for demanding change with this common sense reform bill.

Does your Congressman support common sense reform for the ethanol mandate? Find out now and send them a message today.