The National Chicken Council (NCC) has stated their support for recent efforts to create a more reasonable and sustainable approach to the nation’s biofuel fuel policy. The organization believes that the diversion of corn from feed to fuel exacts a heavy toll on U.S. chicken producers, as well as American consumers, at the pump and the plate.
“NCC believes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is properly proposing to use its authority under the Clean Air Act to reduce ethanol blending requirements below the statutory levels,” said NCC President Mike Brown in comments submitted to the agency in response to their proposed renewable fuels volume requirements. “However, NCC believes the volumes proposed for 2017 are overly aggressive and based on faulty assumptions about the fuel market and thus should be further reduced to limit the disruptions to the corn market and nation’s feed supply.”
On May 18th, the EPA proposed new volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The proposed requirements are lower than statutory targets for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel, but they are also increases from 2016 requirements. According to The Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to set renewable fuel percentage standards each year, which the agency has consistently failed to do since the RFS was implemented.
In a letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy, Brown wrote that the use of corn for ethanol has created an uneven playing field for chicken producers.
“In short, EPA’s proposal to set the 2017 implied conventional ethanol mandate above the blend wall reignites the food versus fuel inequity inherent in the structure of the RFS,” he said. “The e10 blend wall represents the volume of ethanol that can be consumed domestically if all gasoline contains 10 percent ethanol, and marks the transition from relatively straightforward and easily achievable increases in ethanol consumption as e10 to those increases in ethanol consumption as e15 and e85 that are more challenging to achieve.”
Since the RFS was enacted, chicken producers have faced $53 billion in increased feed costs, and at least a dozen chicken companies have ceased operations, filed for bankruptcy or were acquired by another company.
A full list of comments may be accessed here.