SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Kristin Olsen’s (R-Riverbank) Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 21 urging Congress to eliminate mandates on the amount of corn-based ethanol used in gasoline passed out of both houses unanimously and will now be shared with Congress.
The price of corn has increased dramatically as a result of the federal mandate to use corn ethanol to meet Renewable Fuels Standards, negatively impacting our nation's dairies and livestock farmers by diverting corn to fuel supplies instead of feed.
“California leads the nation in milk production and dairy cows primarily depend on corn as feed,” said Olsen. “Diverting feed stocks to fuel has diminished corn supplies for livestock and food producers, resulting in higher corn prices. These higher prices have contributed to hundreds of California dairies going out of business and have increased costs on consumers through increased food prices in grocery stores and restaurants.”
“Feeding our livestock and our people should take precedence over creating alternative fuels that have proven to be less energy efficient than gasoline,” she said. “The actions in this resolution will help prevent further job loss and help our entire state’s economy.”
AJR 21 provides a clear message to Congress that California lawmakers are in support of eliminating corn-based ethanol requirements, capping the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline, and urging the EPA to transition away from biofuel sources that compete with food production.
The RFS mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be part of our nation’s fuel supply by 2022. Almost this entire mandate is currently being fulfilled by the use of corn ethanol. In 2011, five billion bushels of corn supply was used for ethanol- equal to nearly 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop. This is extremely detrimental to our farmers here in California.
“The poultry industry is grateful that our legislature understands the significance of this resolution,” said California Poultry Federation President Bill Mattos. “Using corn for fuel has never made any sense, economically or environmentally, and we appreciate the Legislature's support for Assemblymember Olsen's resolution.”