Two U.S. Senators have introduced bipartisan legislation that would repeal a renewable fuel mandate that requires refiners to blend ethanol in the nation's fuel supply.
The bill, which is sponsored by Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), was introduced on Feb. 26. It would repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency each year, Feinstein announced. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has also signed on to the measure.
"The federal mandate for corn ethanol is both unwise and unworkable," Feinstein said in a statement. "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."
The ethanol industry immediately opposed the legislation. The Renewable Fuels Association called it "an attempt to undercut" the standard.
"Senators Feinstein and Toomey continue to operate under the misguided assumption that the RFS is driving food prices higher," said Bob Dinneen, the association's president and CEO. "It is not. Corn is less expensive today than when the RFS was passed."