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Matheson Introduces Plan to Lower Cost of Food and Fuel

Washington D.C. - Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced legislation this week to help lower food and gasoline prices for all Americans.  Their legislation, H.R. 1461, repeals the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) which requires substantial amounts of corn ethanol to be part of the nation’s fuel supply.  As a result of the increased requirements of ethanol in recent years, both food and gasoline prices have increased for American consumers.

“While we all support the idea of renewable fuels, this program is an example of a government policy that has had negative unintended consequences.  Due to the RFS requirements, it is expected that over 40% of the U.S. corn crop will be used for ethanol production instead of being used as a food product.  As a result, corn prices are at record highs, increasing costs for livestock farmers and food manufacturers.  In addition, ethanol is expensive to produce, so consumers see increased prices both at the grocery store and at the gas pump.  Even worse, ethanol was supposed to be a better environmental alternative to gasoline, but the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) concluded in 2010 that ‘…what the (ethanol) industry is actually producing today is causing more climate pollution than gasoline.’  It’s time to end this flawed policy and let the ethanol industry compete in the marketplace without this government mandate.”