Legislation seeks to tie RFS volumes to corn stocks
Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate July 25 seeks to tie the volume mandate for renewable fuel under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) to U.S. corn supplies. The bill, titled the “Renewable Fuel Standard Flexibility Act,” or S. 3428, was introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.
According to information released by Cardin’s office, the legislation would create a system in which USDA corn supply reports could be used to reduce the RFS volume requirements. Specifically, statistics related to the ratio of corn stocks-to-expected could be used to lower the RFS volume mandate the “renewable fuel” bucket, which can be met by corn ethanol.
The bill’s text specifies which U.S. corn stock-to-use ratios could result in mandate reductions, including:
- A ratio above 10 would result in no adjustments
- A ratio of 10.0 - 7.5 would reduce the volume mandate by 10 percent
- A ratio of 7.49 - 6.0 would reduce the volume mandate by 15 percent
- A ratio of 5.99 -5.000 would reduce the volume mandate by 25 percent
- A ratio below 5.0 would reduce the volume mandate by 50 percent
In a statement, Cardin noted that the purpose of the legislation is to ensure domestic food producers have access to enough corn.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. have signed on as co-sponsors to the legislation. A similar bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. in October. 2011.