Plan to Lower Cost of Food and Fuel

Congressman Jim Matheson
2013-06-07 14:16:08
Congressman Jim Matheson, 4th Congressional District of Utah Dear Friend, Summer is one of the best times in Utah.� Across our state, Utahns enjoy the outdoors and some of the things that are iconic about where we have chosen to live and raise our families.� Unfortunately, it has become an expectation that summer is also a time of rising prices which is why, along with Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), I introduced legislation [link 1]to help lower food and gasoline prices for all Americans. My bill repeals the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a federal policy that mandates a required amount of ethanol be included in our country�s fuel supply. Ethanol is a fuel source primarily made from corn which creates competition between its use for fuel and use for food- whether for livestock or human consumption.� Here in Utah, farmers who raise cattle, pork, chickens and turkeys have told me that as corn has been diverted for fuel use they have seen significant price increases in the feed for their livestock. What is especially troubling is that inflated corn prices ultimately are passed on to consumers, in the form of higher food prices at the store. With the RFS in place, it is expected that this year over 40% of the U.S. corn crop will be slated for use in ethanol production instead of being used as feed for livestock or processed for a variety of human foods. My legislation would not only help to lower our food prices by preserving more of the corn crop for feed and food, it would also help lower prices at the pump. Today, fuel manufactures face a federal mandate requiring a specific volume of ethanol be included in the fuel mix at every gasoline pump.� Practically, today�s efficient cars mean the total amount of fuel sold isn�t growing as fast as the mandate. As a result, fuel manufacturers have two choices to make. The first option is to purchase credits to meet the ethanol volume required by the government. The cost of these credits has skyrocketed in the last year, and subsequently the price of fuel continues to increase. The second option is for fuel manufacturers to blend a higher amount of ethanol into gasoline to meet government standards.� This plan also presents a problem because the more concentrated formula can damage vehicles not built to handle a more concentrated blend of ethanol. Finally, RFS repeal is actually good for the environment.� In early talks about including ethanol in the fuel blend it was discussed as part of a �green� renewable fuel�initiative.� However,� recent studies show the opposite to be true- that the RFS falls short in terms of meeting improvements to emissions standards.� Recent reports from the Natural Resources Defense, Council (NRDC), published in 2010, concluded that ��what the (ethanol) industry is actually producing today is causing more climate pollution than gasoline.� I believe that Utah consumers deserve lower food and fuel prices now and that is why I am working specifically on legislation like the RFS repeal.� It is an honor to work in Congress on this issue and on behalf of Utah families like yours. �As your representative, I always appreciate hearing your thoughts on current topics as well as your continued suggestions on issues where we have long worked together.� In particular, please let me know [link 2] areas you find especially interesting or where I can provide you with additional information.� I value your ideas, and I always look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, [image = matheson.congressnewsletter.net/images/user_images/JM_signature.gif] U.S. Representative 4th District of Utah � Survey/Question [survey] E-mail Updates* *Yes, please periodically send me e-mail updates.** [image = matheson.congressnewsletter.net/images/clickherebtn.gif] [link 3] *By subscribing to my e-mail updates, you are authorizing me to send regular e-mail updates from my office to your e-mail account. [image = matheson.congressnewsletter.net/common/images/sn-facebook.png]Share on Facebook [link 4] [image = matheson.congressnewsletter.net/common/images/sn-twitter.png]Share on Twitter [link 5] Tell a Friend* Survey/Question [survey]
June 07, 2013

Dear Friend,

Summer is one of the best times in Utah.  Across our state, Utahns enjoy the outdoors and some of the things that are iconic about where we have chosen to live and raise our families.  Unfortunately, it has become an expectation that summer is also a time of rising prices which is why, along with Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), I introduced to help lower food and gasoline prices for all Americans.

My bill repeals the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a federal policy that mandates a required amount of ethanol be included in our country�s fuel supply. Ethanol is a fuel source primarily made from corn which creates competition between its use for fuel and use for food- whether for livestock or human consumption.  Here in Utah, farmers who raise cattle, pork, chickens and turkeys have told me that as corn has been diverted for fuel use they have seen significant price increases in the feed for their livestock. What is especially troubling is that inflated corn prices ultimately are passed on to consumers, in the form of higher food prices at the store. With the RFS in place, it is expected that this year over 40% of the U.S. corn crop will be slated for use in ethanol production instead of being used as feed for livestock or processed for a variety of human foods.

My legislation would not only help to lower our food prices by preserving more of the corn crop for feed and food, it would also help lower prices at the pump. Today, fuel manufactures face a federal mandate requiring a specific volume of ethanol be included in the fuel mix at every gasoline pump.  Practically, today�s efficient cars mean the total amount of fuel sold isn�t growing as fast as the mandate. As a result, fuel manufacturers have two choices to make. The first option is to purchase credits to meet the ethanol volume required by the government. The cost of these credits has skyrocketed in the last year, and subsequently the price of fuel continues to increase. The second option is for fuel manufacturers to blend a higher amount of ethanol into gasoline to meet government standards.  This plan also presents a problem because the more concentrated formula can damage vehicles not built to handle a more concentrated blend of ethanol.

Finally, RFS repeal is actually good for the environment.  In early talks about including ethanol in the fuel blend it was discussed as part of a �green� renewable fuel initiative.  However,  recent studies show the opposite to be true- that the RFS falls short in terms of meeting improvements to emissions standards.  Recent reports from the Natural Resources Defense, Council (NRDC), published in 2010, concluded that ��what the (ethanol) industry is actually producing today is causing more climate pollution than gasoline.�

I believe that Utah consumers deserve lower food and fuel prices now and that is why I am working specifically on legislation like the RFS repeal.  It is an honor to work in Congress on this issue and on behalf of Utah families like yours.  As your representative, I always appreciate hearing your thoughts on current topics as well as your continued suggestions on issues where we have long worked together.  In particular, areas you find especially interesting or where I can provide you with additional information.  I value your ideas, and I always look forward to hearing from you.

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