Livestock and Poultry Groups use Misinformation and Drought to Attack the RFS

WASHINGTON, DC — Following a press conference help by livestock and poultry producers this morning calling for a waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy released the following statement:

“Higher corn process facing livestock and poultry users is a result of Mother Nature, not ethanol. To try and blame the ethanol industry is disingenuous and absurd. We have never run out of corn and this year will be no different. While there is no doubt this year’s crop yield will be reduced, it is premature and irresponsible to blame ethanol for a lack of rain. These groups are playing on people’s fears during a time of economic difficulty and a national crisis.

“The market has already shown it will adjust to the current situation. Already we have seen a decrease in ethanol production, and with nearly a billion gallons of surplus ethanol, combined with approximately 3 billion RINs available, obligated parties will be able to meet the volume requirements of the RFS. Additionally, obligated parties are allowed to carry a 10 percent deficit of RINs into the next year which equals 1.32 billion gallons of ethanol, or approximately 500 million bushels of corn.

“Another major factor to consider is that domestic feed demand will decline as cattle herds are being liquidated. This is not because of ethanol, but because the drought has devastated pastures and hay crops. Keep in mind roughly 80 percent of a beef cows weight comes from pasture and hay not corn. Once again, it is the drought that driving commodity prices.

“Furthermore, exports of raw commodities, such as corn are likely to decrease and experts have reassured the American people that food prices will not substantially rise, unlike the alarmist calls these groups have been putting out. General Mills Chief Executive Ken Powell estimated that food prices will increase by 2 to 3 percent, compared to an increase of more than 10 percent last year, noting ‘consumers should see generally stable prices.’ And the USDA has said they do not expect to see price increases above 4 percent.

“Any objective source will see this argument for what it is – an attempt to blame corn farmers and ethanol producers for an uncontrollable act of Mother Nature. The facts simply do not add up. The true root of this campaign is an attempt to increase the bottom line of the livestock and poultry industry at the expense of grain farmers. After years of the federal government subsidizing the production of corn, this coalition believes they are still entitled to subsidized corn prices. Smearing family farmers for finally selling their crop above production cost and without government subsidies shows the true motivation of big food – protecting their bottom line, not consumers.

“If these groups desire is to pick and choose who gets first access to the available crop – as opposed to letting the market determine the best and highest use thru supply and demand, then they should look at all uses for corn, not just ethanol.”

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About Growth Energy
Growth Energy represents the producers and supporters of ethanol who feed the world and fuel America in ways that achieve energy independence, improve economic well-being and create a healthier environment for all Americans now.