With the drought slashing harvest expectations there is a growing voice from the livestock industry. That voice is blaming home grown fuels for the rising cost of livestock feed and the nation’s food supply.
The livestock and poultry industry has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce or cancel the required use of ethanol in gasoline for a year, saying the change would help producers ride out the worst drought in more than a half century. Last week the US Department of Agriculture released the latest expectations for this year’s corn harvest.
That’s Geoff Cooper, Vice President of Research and Analysis for the Renewable Fuels Association. The group held a webinar Tuesday morning addressing those concerns. According to Cooper the latest argument has focused on the cost of gas which the Energy Information Administration even addressed..
Which stems back to issues in the refining sector…
The benefits of using ethanol he says is the fact that the homegrown fuel adds to the nations supply..
Implying the loss of ethanol would reduce the volume of fuel supplies thus increasing the cost of gas and everything else sold through transport. As for food prices, Cooper says fluctuations in price are par for the course…
The natural price inflation he says is something opponents target when it’s in their favor..
According to USDA about 35 % of the nation’s corn supply is used for ethanol, similar to the level used to feed livestock. RFS proponents also highlight the fact that ethanol production produces the by product of distillers grains which are fed to livestock. The EPA has never granted a waiver on the requirement since the standard was established in 2006.
To hear the full audio version of Geoff Cooper’s presentation regarding the RFS click the following links: