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WHITE HOUSE CONSIDERS DROPPING ETHANOL MANDATE, REHASHES "FOOD VS FUEL" DEBATE
By Tyne Morgan, AgWeb.com

National Sorghum Producers CEO Tim Lust thinks the way to reduce fuel prices today is to incorporate more ethanol into the nation's fuel supply. He says by allowing the use of E15 year-round, it would help reduce the price consumers pay at the pump.


As ethanol and renewable fuels groups continue to fight for ethanol to be part of the solution to help ease climbing fuel prices today, a new Reuters report indicates the White House is exploring a solution that would actually remove Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) blending requirements for ethanol to help soften increasing food prices.

Reuters reported Thursday U.S. President Joe Biden's administration is studying whether waiving the nation's biofuel blending mandates could help stabilize surging prices for key food ingredients like corn and soy oil. The report says the White House is worried about debilitating consumer food inflation.

Tim Lust, CEO of National Sorghum Producers (NSP), says ethanol is not a food vs. fuel debate, and thinks the conversation may be misdirected.

"When you look at the difference between food inflation and fuel inflation, fuel inflation is rising at a much faster pace," says Lust. "When we look at all of the oil that is coming in from Russia and what that looks like, this discussion over the years has often turned to food versus fuel. This is not a food versus fuel discussion. This is a discussion of domestic energy independence and domestic energy use, versus us continuing to rely on Russia to supply oil for this country for our fuel."

Instead, Lust thinks the way to reduce fuel prices today is to incorporate more ethanol into the nation's fuel supply. He says by allowing the use of E15 year-round, it would help reduce the price consumers pay at the pump.

In a letter to the White House, six farm and biofuel groups including American Farm Bureau Federation, (AFBF), Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), National Farmers Union (NFU), National Sorghum Producers (NSP), and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), urged the administration to allow for the year-round sale of E15. The groups explained that an immediate move to restore year-round sales of E15 can ease the impact of oil market disruptions and surging gas prices caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Ethanol is part of the solution," Lust adds. "Today, when we look at the U.S. stocks that we have look at the price of ethanol versus the price of gasoline, we are a part of the immediate solution. And if we could get a few political barriers out of the way, that is something that we could deliver tangible results to lower fuel costs to U.S. consumers in weeks, not months, not years, but in weeks, and that's just good for the U.S. from a national security standpoint, as well as an inflation standpoint."

To view the complete report, click here.


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