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Posted by Brian Allmer on July 3, 2013

DENVER, Colo. - “The mandate on Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), corn-based ethanol in particular, has had a devastating effect on the entire food economy from livestock producers facing record feed costs to consumers’ balancing food budgets in tough economic times,” declares American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) president and lamb producer, Clint Krebs.

Before the July 4th recess, U.S. Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) introduced The Renewable Fuel Standard Repeal Act (S. 1195). The bill would repeal the RFS in its entirety. The bill was co-sponsored by nine additional senators.

This bipartisan legislation would eliminate the corn-based ethanol mandate currently required by the RFS, reduce the overall requirements of cellulosic ethanol not filled by other advanced biofuels and rescind the Environmental Protection Agency waivers allowing gasoline blends containing up to 15 percent of ethanol.

“The RFS is fundamentally broken and beyond repair,” says Barrasso. “Instead of delivering meaningful environmental benefits, it’s driven up food and fuel costs for American families. This flawed program will also inevitably lead to widespread lawsuits against American manufacturers. When Congress enacts bad policy, the right response is to scrap it and start over.”

In 2005, Congress established the RFS effectively requiring refiners to blend increasing volumes of biofuels (e.g., corn ethanol) into the nation’s gasoline supplies. In 2007, Congress expanded the RFS effectively requiring refiners to blend much larger volumes of biofuels and advanced biofuels (e.g., cellulosic ethanol) into the nation’s gasoline and diesel fuel supplies.

“ASI policy supports Sen. Barrasso’s goal to repeal this fuel standard. Sheep producers, along with all livestock operators feeding grain, are taking the financial hit from the RFS mandate,” maintains Krebs. “There is concern among sheep producers about the influence renewable-energy policies have on the price of feed-grains, especially at a time when lamb prices are at an all-time low.”

ASI is a national trade organization supported by 46 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 81,000 sheep producers.

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