The National Council of Chain Restaurants has urged the EPA to further reduce the levels of corn ethanol mandated under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
In response to concerns about the RFS, the EPA last year proposed cutting corn ethanol levels for 2014 to 13.01 billion gallons from 13.8 billion gallons. NCCR members, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Domino’s Pizza, White Castle Food supply chain stakeholders, say the corn quota is still too high.
In comments submitted to the EPA, the NCCR says the ethanol policy distorts agriculture and commodity markets, artificially inflates the price of corn, and sharply raises food costs and prices for restaurant owners, operators, franchisees, small business owners and the general dining public.
The American Frozen Food Institute has also warned that EPA that because corn and soybeans are critical ingredients in a range of frozen foods, higher biofuel targets will raise cost and prices for food makers and shoppers.
Meanwhile the American Soybean Association has urged the EPA to increase the biodiesel targets. In its comments submitted to the EPA, the ASA urged the agency to amend its proposed 2014 and 2015 RFS volume requirements for biomass-based diesel. The proposed biomass-based diesel and total advanced biofuel levels “are unnecessarily low, will stifle the growth and job creation potential demonstrated by the biodiesel industry, and squander an opportunity for greater emissions reductions and energy diversity,” the association says.
The ASA has asked the EPA to adjust the requirements to be consistent with production levels in 2013, which exceeded 1.7 billion gallons. The ASA says there are more than 2 billion gallons of biodiesel production capacity already built and operable, and sufficient feedstock available to produce above the 1.28 billion gallons proposed by EPA.
Last week, the EPA said it will reconsider its 2013 cellulosic ethanol target.
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