FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 26, 2015
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON (Feb. 26, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said that the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act would cripple rural America’s economy and be an enormous step backwards for America’s goal of energy independence by a decade or more.
“The elimination of corn-based ethanol as an option to fulfill the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) will reverse the enormous economic prosperity we’ve seen in rural America since the passage of the RFS and will severely hamstring this nation’s goal of energy independence,” said Johnson.
Johnson pointed out that corn-based ethanol has been used to fulfill the lion’s share of the RFS because it is among the most efficient renewable transportation fuels to produce. It has not only helped reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil but also generates a very valuable by-product – Dried Distiller’s Grains – that has proven invaluable as animal feed. “Not only will this bill hurt family farmers and ranchers and the rural economies they support, but it will also increase carbon emissions and petroleum use, neither of which is good for the nation or the environment,” said Johnson.
Some of the nation’s largest food companies and meat processors have argued that the rise in corn prices since passage of the RFS has forced them to raise food prices for consumers. “Corn prices rose sharply in 2012 due to the worst drought the nation has seen since the Dust Bowl days and high energy prices,” said Johnson. “Since then, corn prices have dropped precipitously yet food prices have remained elevated and so have the profit margins of those companies,” he said.
“The adoption of the RFS and the critical role played by corn-based ethanol in fulfilling it has brought a level of prosperity and hope that rural Americans have not seen in generations,” said Johnson. “Family farmers and ranchers support the RFS because it’s not only good for our communities, but keeps our nation on a steady path to energy independence,” he added.
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.