- - Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

“The federal mandate for corn ethanol is both unwise and unworkable. Roughly 40 percent of corn in the United States is currently used for fuel, which increases the price of food and animal feed while also damaging the environment. Additionally, oil companies are unable to blend more corn ethanol into gasoline without causing problems for some gas stations and older automobiles.

“Once we remove the corn ethanol mandate, the RFS program can finally serve its intended purpose: to support the development of advanced, environmentally friendly biofuels like biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol and other revolutionary fuels.”

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Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA

“The RFS is outdated. It was created in 2005, a time when American energy consumption relied heavily on foreign imports. It was thought that the Renewable Fuel Standard would be good for our environment by decreasing the carbon footprint. But in the last 10 years, our energy landscape has changed dramatically. We now have more domestic oil than almost ever before, and the drawbacks of the RFS greatly outweigh its benefits.

“The Congressional Budget Office projects that Americans will be forced to pay 13 to 26 cents more per gallon if the RFS is not repealed. For a mom and dad with two teenagers, this would be about $400 a year. But it doesn’t stop at the pump. Over the last 10 years, the price of corn has drastically fluctuated. Corn costs have approximately doubled since the RFS began. And the corn price increasing has increased the cost of food. As much as 7 percent to 26 percent is estimated per year, and it also raises costs all the way down. For example, chain restaurants are estimated to spend $3.2 billion more for the food they purchase and serve to their customers because of the RFS.

“Unfortunately, there are no environmental benefits, but there is tremendous environmental harm. An increase in corn production means there is an increase in fertilizer use across the Midwest. That fertilizer runs off into the rivers, goes down into the Mississippi River, hits the Gulf of Mexico, causes algae blooms because of the high nitrogen and phosphorous, and that decreases the oxygen in the water, devastating the fish population. If you look at maps of the dead zone, it has continuously increased in size since the RFS was put into law.”

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Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)

“The RFS was a well-intentioned idea that has delivered as intended for the conventional ethanol industry, which is now mature and well-established. But the promised environmental benefits have yet to be realized. In fact, the standard that was intended to benefit the environment may well be hurting it. Our bill is a forward-looking proposal, offering visionary reforms to put us on a cleaner and more sustainable path. The changes it would make represent a giant step forward to combat the urgent threat of climate change, cut pollution, and protect our planet for future generations.”

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Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)

“The biofuel use requirements have a negative effect on our economy. Not only does the mandate likely harm our car engines, it drives up farmers’ and ranchers’ costs and causes increased prices in almost everything we buy in the grocery store. Current rules require refiners to blend increasing amounts of biofuels — especially corn ethanol into the nation’s gasoline supply. The result is that corn prices have shot up, and this is troubling for Pennsylvania livestock farmers who devote about half their operating costs to feed. I have heard firsthand from many constituents just how damaging this policy has been. And it is particularly harmful to lower-income families who spend a greater percentage of their paycheck on groceries. It is ill-advised and unsustainable.”

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Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)

“Despite its early promise, the RFS has been a well-intentioned flop that is harming our environment by contributing to the conversion of millions of acres of grasslands, wetlands and forests into crop production while failing to bring about the widespread use of truly sustainable fuels like cellulosic. Our commonsense legislation reforms the mandate to dramatically reduce its environmental impact and to support the continued growth of advanced biofuels.”

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Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)

“Forcing more ethanol into the market — while hurting consumers, food producers, and small engines across the nation — is not the solution. While well-intentioned, it has been clear for some time now that the RFS is a broken policy. The EPA’s action today ignores basic economic and scientific facts, and sets the industry on a path that will be disastrous for families, small businesses and retailers, the agriculture community, food aid organizations, and the environment. Announcing higher fuel volumes for 2017 only emphasizes the unfairness of this mandate, and the need for Congress to step in and stop the harmful impacts. There are several good solutions on the table in the House to help lessen the effects of the ethanol mandate, including the RFS Reform Act, which we have introduced. Reforming the RFS remains a priority, and we will continue working to see a legislative fix move forward in Congress.”

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Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA)

“The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a well-intentioned policy that Congress passed in 2005. Unfortunately, with its passage came unintended consequences, which are negatively impacting American industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, and food service. The RFS is no longer sustainable as currently implemented. As the United States and the rest of the world continue to update our energy and transportation policies for the 21st century, Congress must work together on a bipartisan basis … because it is an important step to bringing more certainty to the marketplace for transportation fuels.”

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Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX)

“In today’s market, the RFS is hurting consumer choices and increasing food and fuel costs for our families. Market conditions have dramatically changed since 2005 and 2007 when Congress created and subsequently expanded the RFS. Since that time, gasoline demand has fallen and is well below the volumes implied by the ethanol mandates in the 2007 statute. As a result, the legacy RFS formula has now caused a situation where the ethanol mandate exceeds the maximum amount of ethanol that can be efficiently blended into gasoline under real-world market conditions and forces refiners to increase ethanol volumes above 10 percent of total gasoline production. Higher ethanol blends of this nature are harmful for small engines, engines for recreational vehicles and older vehicle engines. Furthermore, the current RFS mandates are causing higher emissions as well as higher fuel and food costs for consumers.”

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