Legislation aims to eliminate corn ethanol portion of RFS

By Erin Voegele | June 16, 2014

Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., recently introduced legislation that aims to alter the renewable fuel standard (RFS) by repealing the corn ethanol portion of the standard and requiring the remaining components of the RFS to be met with domestically produced fuel.

The bill, titled the Phantom Fuels Elimination Act, or H.R. 4849, was introduced June 12 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The measure currently has no cosponsors.

In a statement released by his office, Lankford claimed the RFS is “needlessly overburdening American consumers, energy refiners and producers.”  

The Renewable Fuels Association has spoken out to criticize the bill, calling it a “short-sighted effort to undercut the continued growth of renewable fuels by eviscerating the [RFS].”

“Congressman Lankford should get his facts straight. In dropping this bill, Rep. Lankford suggests ethanol is a ‘phantom fuel.’ Wrong!,” There is more than enough ethanol to meet the RFS. If it didn’t exist, the oil companies wouldn’t be fighting so hard to protect their monopoly over the nation’s fuel supply,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA.

“Incomprehensibly, Rep. Lankford states that his bill is needed to reduce consumer gasoline prices. Wrong again! Ethanol is the cheapest transportation fuel in the world,” Dinneen continued. “Ethanol today is 50–60 cents cheaper than wholesale gasoline, lowering the price at the pump. Moreover, ethanol stretches the domestic fuel supply and reduces the amount of petroleum needed in our gasoline, ultimately lowering the cost of crude oil. Considering this macroeconomic effect, energy economist Philip Verleger found that ethanol saves drivers an average of $1.00/gallon in 2012 and 2013.”

“Ethanol puts money back in the hands of consumers, including Rep. Lankford’s constituents in Oklahoma. The rationale behind this legislation is baseless. This phantom exists and is haunting Rep. Lankford’s increasingly scared oil industry,” Dinneen said.

A full copy of the bill can be downloaded from Lankford’s website.