NCCR says increased ethanol mandate shows program is a ‘total failure’

WASHINGTON – The National Council of Chain Restaurants today issued the following statement from Executive Director Rob Green following the Environmental Protection Agency’s release of 2017 volume requirements for the federal Renewable Fuel Standard program. The EPA has decided to increase the required volume of corn ethanol refiners must blend into gasoline next year by hundreds of millions of gallons. 

“It is unconscionable that the EPA would double down on an outdated and broken biofuel law in the waning days of the current administration when nearly everyone except the ethanol makers–who benefit from the law– recognize that it is a total failure. The EPA should have reduced the ethanol volume this year, but they continue to ignore clear findings from widely available data that shows the ethanol mandate is doing far more harm than good.

“The law gives the EPA a variety of tools to adjust the required volume levels in the face of changed circumstances and in light of new evidence that the mandate isn’t working, but the agency has declined to use any of them. 

“From food retailers and environmental activists to anti-hunger organizations and government-waste watchdog groups, the consensus is clear that the ethanol mandate is broken. Congress created this monster and members of Congress need to listen to their constituents and address this issue once and for all,” Green said.

Enacted in 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard created an artificial demand for corn that encouraged farmers to plant more acres, driving up the cost of food and introducing significant market volatility impacting prices for consumer goods. Further, it is harder for restaurants and food retailers to forecast costs and make long-term business decisions.

The National Council of Chain Restaurants is the leading trade association exclusively representing chain restaurant companies. For more than 40 years, NCCR has worked to advance sound public policy that best serves the interests of restaurant businesses and the millions of people they employ. NCCR members include the country's most-respected quick-service and table-service chains. NCCR is a division of the National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade group.