While ethanol producers are bringing in record profits, dairy and poultry farmers have been forced to close up shop, unable to afford feed for animals.
California dairies have suffered immensely in recent years due to a variety of factors, including low milk prices; but one major factor is the exponentially rising cost of feed.
In its zeal to impose the ethanol boondoggle, Congress has mandated it, subsidized it, and protected it from competitors. Now some Senators are siccing prosecutors on those who still won't get on their ethanol corn-wagon.
Refining industry executives and restaurant owners are set to meet with lawmakers on Wednesday in a bid to convince them to scrap an eight-year-old renewable fuel mandate.
Refiners are hesitant to blend more than 10 percent ethanol into the fuel supply over safety concerns. Skyrocketing renewable fuel credit prices indicate that the industry is nearing the limits of what it can blend, or the “blend wall.”
Two Senate committees are wrestling over a critical energy policy that influences prices of both fuel and food: the renewable-fuels standard that mandates an increasing amount of biofuels—mostly corn-based ethanol—to be blended with gasoline each year.
89 percent of the nation’s corn crop has been affected by the drought—a problem worsened by the RFS, which allocates 40 percent of the diminished corn supply to ethanol production.