A broad coalition of groups, including the National Pork Producers Council, representing a variety of food industry segments, sent a letter this week to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich), urging opposition to any amendments in the upcoming energy bill that would increase the Renewable Fuels Standard for grain-based ethanol.

The letter addressed the fact that the RFS passed into law in 2005 has not yet been fully implemented in the marketplace. It also pointed out that issue's complexities have not been vetted through the committee process.

“New fuel sources offer the potential to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil…However, as we seek to implement policy that moves us toward accomplishing this objective, it is absolutely essential that Congress carefully regard the impacts of such actions, especially with regards to the use of corn for fuel,” the letter states.

Those signing the letter, which include the American Meat Institute, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Chicken Council, NPPC, the National Turkey Federation, United Egg Association and the United Egg Producers, applauded the Energy and Commerce's leadership in dealing with issues affecting energy security and suggested that the committee have an opportunity to fully evaluate any increase in the RFS before the full House considers the measure. 

“We share your eagerness to develop a roadmap for energy security, but representing a broad and diverse group of constituencies, we have a common concern about the impact and potential consequences of an increase in the mandate for grain-based fuel,” the letter stated. “The complexities of this issue have not yet been vetted through the committee process, and we urge you to oppose the addition of an increase in the RFS for grain-based ethanol to the energy bill you are set to consider,” the letter concluded.

Source: American Meat Institute