Progressive group launches pro-RFS website

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Progressive group Americans United for Change today launched a campaign meant to discredit claims by the fast-food industry that ethanol demand is driving up costs and hurting small franchise owners.

The group debuted a website,, to paint the fast-food industry as being in league with the oil industry in its bid to overturn the renewable fuel standard. Oil prices are the main culprit behind rising fast-food industry costs, the website says.”A big part of Big Oil’s cutthroat business strategy has included disingenuously pinning the blame for higher food prices on ethanol,” said Jeremy Funk, communications director at Americans United for Change, in a statement. “And now Big Grease has got Big Oil’s back, launching the same false attacks. Why? Because the fast food industry is lovin’ the high prices; after all, high prices mean super-sized profits and CEO bonuses.”

The federal renewable fuel standard passed in 2007 required U.S. EPA to set yearly requirements for refiners to blend conventional ethanol and advanced biofuels into petroleum-based fuel.

On the heels of an EPA proposal to roll back the mandates this year, Americans United for Change teamed up with progressive veterans group to push the agency and Congress to maintain the standard.

The National Council of Chain Restaurants, the trade association for fast-food eateries, has called for a complete repeal of the RFS, arguing that increased demand for ethanol driven by the yearly mandates has squeezed profits for franchise owners by raising corn prices.

Last June, the organization launched a campaign called “Feed Food Fairness” to push for repeal of the RFS.

“The federal RFS mandate has set off a multibillion-dollar chain reaction that has caused a series of unfair and unintended consequences,” NCCR says on the Feed Food Fairness website.

The council is also a part of Smarter Fuel Future, a coalition of anti-ethanol interests that extends beyond oil and food groups to livestock, environmental and anti-poverty organizations.