Farm group urges House to keep funding ethanol mandate

Source: By Christopher Doering, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The country’s largest farm group warned House lawmakers that making changes to the country’s ethanol mandate would impede investment in biofuels and hurt the economy in rural America.

Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, highlighted an amendment from Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., that would cut off funds to implement the Renewable Fuel Standard — a 2007 law requiring that more alternative fuels be blended into cars, trucks and other vehicles.

“Dismantling the RFS will stifle innovation, discourage diversification of our fuel supplies and lead to economic harm to rural America,” Stallman said in the letter sent Monday. “Farm Bureau respectfully requests that you reject the Loudermilk amendment and any other proposed legislative changes to the RFS.”

Opponents of the ethanol mandate, including the American Petroleum Institute, have pushed for Congress to repeal or significantly reform the measure. They say consumers have not shown an interest in fuel blends with higher amounts of ethanol. And with consumers driving less and cars more fuel efficient, targets set eight years ago by Congress have proven to be too high.

Iowa is the nation’s No. 1 producer of renewable fuels.