Mike Brown: Setting the record straight

To paint Bob Goodlatte a friend of the ethanol industry could not be further from the truth (“Karen Kwiatkowski:Bob Goodlatte has doubled your grocery bill,” June 3)

Congressman Goodlatte has been a leader in Congress in working to address the unintended consequences the government’s support of ethanol has created, providing scrutiny to the cost and effectiveness of these programs, through speeches, votes and the introduction of his own legislation.

He is one member who understands that we should not be in a position where government is choosing winners between fuel and food.  To this end, he introduced two bills that would alter the artificially created government market for corn ethanol.  The first would eliminate the government mandated Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to make ethanol compete in a free market.

Secondly, Congressman Goodlatte introduced the bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard Flexibility Act, which alters the RFS to give relief to livestock and food producers and consumers of these products.  The legislation will link the amount of corn ethanol required for the RFS to the amount of the U.S. corn supplies.  This legislation provides a mechanism that when the USDA reports that U.S. corn supplies are tight, based upon the ratio of corn stocks to expected use, there would be a reduction made to the RFS.

Recognizing that a full repeal of the RFS may take time, Congressman Goodlatte introduced the second bill to try to give consumers, livestock and poultry producers faster relief.

These bills are supported by many food, livestock and poultry groups, including the National Chicken Council, American Meat Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council and National Turkey Federation.

Congressman Goodlatte also has a strong record of supporting legislation that would reduce federal support of ethanol.   He has consistently voted to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using appropriated funds to increase the amount of allowable ethanol content in gasoline to 15 percent (E15).  He also voted to prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture from using appropriated funds for the installation of ethanol pumps and storage facilities.

All of these measures are vehemently opposed by the ethanol industry.

Congressman Goodlatte’s record on the federal government’s subsidization of the ethanol industry speaks for itself.  To distort it is pure politicking.  Your readers deserve accurate information.

Mike Brown is the president of the National Chicken Council.


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