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National Restaurant Association - NRA applauds renewable fuel standard reform try

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NRA applauds renewable fuel standard reform try

The National Restaurant Association applauded four congressmen for introducing the Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act, legislation that would help protect businesses and consumers from food price volatility.

The bipartisan legislation was introduced April 10 by Congressmen Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., Jim Costa, D-Calif., Steve Womack, R-Ark., and Peter Welch, D-Vermont.

If passed, the bill would bring down costs by eliminating the conventional biofuels mandate and effectively prohibit the use of corn-based ethanol in the RFS. It also would reduce the total size of the RFS and restrict the standard to only being met through the use of renewable biomass and other advanced biofuels.

Scott DeFife, the NRA’s executive vice president of policy and government affairs, said the legislation would go a long way toward helping restaurateurs reduce operating costs.

“Food costs are a top business challenge for the restaurant industry, which operates on razor-thin margins,” DeFife said. “The Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act would benefit consumers, businesses and the overall economy by helping to lower these costs, and we applaud Congressmen Goodlatte, Costa, Womack and Welch for their bipartisan efforts to reform the RFS.”

In a letter sent to the bill’s sponsors, the NRA noted that wholesale food costs have increased nearly 30 percent over the last six years. The Association attributed this rise in costs to the RFS’s corn-based ethanol mandate, highlighting the fact that last year 40 percent of U.S. corn crops were devoted to fuel production, rather than food or feed.

This was particularly problematic because drought conditions across the United States destroyed more than half of the corn crop in 2012. As a result, food and feed costs rose and supply dwindled.

Pictured, top right: Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., center, talks about the Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act, legislation he and fellow Congressmen Jim Costa, D-Calif., Steve Womack, R-Ark., and Peter Welch, D-Vermont, introduced April 10.

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