2017 RFS raises concerns

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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The National Chicken Council put out some recent concerns on the 2017 RFS. 
WASHINGTON – The US Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to increase renewable fuel volume requirements across all types of biofuels has some stakeholders in the poultry industry sounding a note of caution.

Under the proposed 2017 RFS mandates:

  • Total renewable fuel volumes would grow by nearly 700 million gallons between 2016 and 2017.
  • Advanced renewable fuel — which requires 50 percent lifecycle carbon emissions reductions — would grow by nearly 400 million gallons between 2016 and 2017.
  • The non-advanced or “conventional” fuels portion of total renewable fuels — which requires a minimum of 20 percent lifecycle carbon emissions reductions — would increase to 14.8 billion gallons from 14.5 billion gallons and achieve 99 percent of the Congressional target of 15 billion gallons.
  • Biomass-based biodiesel — which must achieve at least 50 percent lifecycle emissions reductions — would grow by 100 million gallons between 2017 and 2018.
  • Cellulosic biofuel — which requires 60 percent lifecycle carbon emissions reductions — would grow by 82 million gallons, or 35 percent, between 2016 and 2017.

“EPA is proposing to guarantee a record domestic volume to ethanol producers for the fifth year in a row,” Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council (NCC) said in a statement.

“In creating an artificial demand for corn based ethanol beyond what the fuel market can bear, the EPA’s proposal will certainly have unintended consequences for other corn users who are not guaranteed market growth for their products,” Brown added. “If the EPA proposal stays put, consumers will see higher prices at the pump and on the plate.”

NCC reported that corn accounts for almost 70 percent of feed costs in the broiler industry, which has $53 billion in higher actual feed costs since the RFS was implemented.

“The unrealistic volume for ethanol proposed today by the EPA ensures that the chicken industry, as well as all of animal agriculture, remains only one flood, freeze, or drought away from another crisis,” Brown warned.

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