Renewable Fuel Standard

tanker trucks driving by cornfields

The issue 

filling up with ethanol based gasoline

The Renewable Fuel Standard is a federal program that requires energy companies to blend billions of gallons of corn ethanol and other biofuels into the nation’s gasoline supply each year. NRF’s National Council of Chain Restaurants strongly opposes the program because diverting corn and other crops to fuel drives up food prices for chain restaurants and their customers.

Why it matters to restaurants and retailers

The requirement has created a huge demand for corn, which has dramatically increased its price as well as the price of all animal products that use corn as feedstock. That, in turn, has driven up prices for beef, dairy, pork, eggs, turkey, chicken and other foods, increasing costs for restaurants, retailers who sell food and, ultimately, U.S. consumers.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers commissioned by NCCR found that the ethanol mandate costs restaurants $3.2 billion a year. One franchise owner told Congress that the mandate costs his four restaurants $120,000 a year, taking away funds that could be used to open additional locations and create new jobs.

NCCR advocates to repeal ethanol mandate

sunlight through a cornfield at sunset

NCCR has led the chain restaurant industry’s efforts to have the Renewable Fuel Standard repealed, arguing that corn should be used for food rather than fuel. NCCR has repeatedly taken executives and franchise owners from member companies to Capitol Hill to testify before Congress, and has formed a coalition with restaurant companies. The coalition’s Feed Food Fairness: Take RFS Off the Menu campaign is aimed at passage of legislation to overturn or roll back the requirement.

For 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency set the biofuel requirement at 20.04 billion gallons, up from 19.92 billion gallons in 2019.

The National Council of Chain Restaurants, a division of the National Retail Federation, is the leading organization exclusively representing chain restaurant companies. For more than 40 years, NCCR has worked to advance sound public policy that serves restaurant businesses and the millions of people they employ.

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