US senator touts bill linking corn production to fuel standard

25 July 2012 21:10  [Source: ICIS news]

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (ICIS)--A US senator on Wednesday unveiled details of a bill that he says would link the country’s corn ethanol fuel mandate to the amount of US corn supplies. 

The “RFS Flexibility Act” by Senator Ben Cardin (Democrat-Maryland) creates a process so that the government could lessen the RFS mandate for corn ethanol when the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports on US corn supplies towards the end of each year, based upon the ratio of corn stocks-to-expected use, according to a press release by Cardin’s office.

“Domestic food production is reaching a state of crisis driven by the increasing cost of inputs, like corn, so that poultry and other food producers have to compete with industries that are operating with under unfair government ethanol production mandates,” Cardin said.

“My legislation offers a simple change to the Renewable Fuel Standard that will help provide our domestic food producers access to corn,” he continued. “This is a common sense solution to make sure that we have enough corn supplies to meet all of our corn demands.”

Cardin added that he understands the important role domestic ethanol production will play in helping the US achieve greater energy security, but the growth of the biofuels industry should not come at the expense of US food supply.

Under Cardin’s bill, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would review the current corn crop year’s ratio of US corn stocks-to-use ratio in making a determination of the RFS.      

The EPA would provide a waiver for the RFS for the following calendar year if the stocks-to-use ratio was under a certain level.


By: Brian Balboa
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