Thursday, May 21, 2015

Senator Grassley Takes to the Floor in Support of Biofuels - "Chain Restaurants, Chicken Producers Smear Homegrown Biofuels"

Senator Chuck Grassley (IA) took to the floor of the US Senate this week to respond to the misconceptions found in a Wall Street Journal piece.  Specifically, he responded to the myths from the chain restaurants and chicken producers regarding cleaner burning, American-made renewable fuels.

Here are a few key points the senator made:

"I’m going to take this opportunity to do a simple fact check of some of the most egregious claims.
First, they claim that since 2005, when the Renewable Fuel Standard was first adopted, costs of vital food commodities, including corn, grains and oilseeds, poultry, meat, eggs and dairy have risen dramatically.  
This is pure myth.
The fact is, consumer food prices have increased by an annual average of 2.68 percent since 2005.  
In contrast, food prices increased by an average of 3.47 percent in the 25 years leading up to passage of the RFS.  
Prices for chicken breast have been nearly flat over the past seven years, averaging $3.43 per pound in 2007, and just 3 pennies more, to $3.46 per pound in 2014.  
Corn prices are expected to average $3.50 per bushel this year, according to USDA.  
This would be the lowest price in nearly 10 years, and 17 percent below the average price of $4.20 a bushel in 2007, when the RFS2 was enacted.  
That’s a fact:  with ethanol production at record levels today, corn prices are lower now than they were in 2007.
It’s been proven time and again by the EPA, USDA and others – there is no correlation between corn prices or ethanol production and retail food inflation or food prices.  It’s just a fact.
Second, they claim that as a result of the RFS, corn is being “diverted” from livestock feed to ethanol.  Again, this claim is false.
Corn used for ethanol has come from the significant increases in corn production since 2005.  
In 2005, American farmers produced 11.1 billion bushels of corn.  
In 2014, they produced 14.1 billion bushels.  
And, one-third of the corn used for ethanol production is returned to the market as animal feed.  The amount of corn and corn co-products available for feed use is larger today than any time in history.  
So, it’s hardly being diverted."

Senator Grassley's full transcript can be found HERE.


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