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Senators introduce bill to cut ethanol requirement

More than 14 billion gallons of ethanol used in 2014

By Diego Flammini,

Senators Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania and Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California introduced the Toomey-Feinstein Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015.

The bill, which is being cosponsored by Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, aims to put a halt to the required amount of ethanol in gasoline.

Currently, the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) calls for annual increases in the amount of renewable fuel blended into gasoline in the United States.

The Senators involved with the bill say forcing a set amount of ethanol into gasoline in the country makes other goods more costly.

"The RFS requires fuel suppliers to blend millions of gallons of biofuels -- most often corn ethanol -- into the nation's gasoline supplies," Toomey said in a statement. "It drives up gas prices, increases food costs, damages car engines, and is harmful to the environment."

"Once the mandate for corn ethanol is gone, the RFS program will be able to focus on those fuels that best reduce greenhouse gas emissions and don't compete with our food supply," Senator Feinstein said in a release.

The introduction of this bill has been met with some resistance.

"The authors of this legislation fail to understand the actual process of how ethanol is produced. Only the starch is removed, while all of the valuable components – the fiber, oil and protein are returned to the food chain in the form of a high protein animal feed," said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis in a statement.

The RFS required 18.15 billion gallons of renewable fuel in 2014 – over 14 billion of which would’ve been ethanol.

Join the discussion and tell us if you’re worried about this legislation and the impact it could have on your farm operation.


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