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Protecting Consumers from Fuel Mandates

Reps. Flores, Welch, Goodlatte and Costa Introduce Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act

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WASHINGTON, D.C. , May 10, 2016 | Andre Castro (202-225-6105) | comments

U.S. Representatives Bill Flores (R-TX), Peter Welch (D-VT), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Jim Costa (D-CA) have introduced bipartisan legislation to address issues surrounding the fuel mandates of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act, H.R. 5180, limits the RFS mandate to levels that our nation’s cars, trucks, boats and other small engines can safely accommodate.

“In today’s market, the RFS is hurting consumer choices and increasing food and fuel costs for our families. Market conditions have dramatically changed since 2005 and 2007, when Congress created and subsequently expanded the RFS. Since that time, gasoline demand has fallen and is well below the volumes implied by the ethanol mandates in the 2007 statute. As a result, the legacy RFS formula has now caused a situation where the ethanol mandate exceeds the maximum amount of ethanol that can be efficiently blended into gasoline under real-world market conditions, and forces refiners to increase ethanol volumes above 10 percent of total gasoline production. Higher ethanol blends of this nature are harmful for small engines, engines for recreational vehicles and older vehicle engines. Furthermore, the current RFS mandates are causing higher emissions as well as higher fuel and food costs for consumers,” Rep. Bill Flores stated. “The bipartisan Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act is a common-sense solution to limit the negative impacts of the RFS on hardworking American families.”

Rep. Peter Welch added, “Despite its initial promise, the RFS has been a well-intended flop that’s inflicting harm on consumers, the economy and the environment. The corn-based ethanol mandate is driving up the cost of feed for struggling dairy farmers. It’s driving up the cost of food for working families. It’s ruining the engines of boats, chainsaws and snowmobiles in Vermont and across the country. And it is harming the environment. This bipartisan bill caps the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline and provides much needed certainty on future RFS volumes.”

“The ethanol mandate is operating outside of the confines of reality. Mixing greater amounts of ethanol into the fuel supply decreases fuel efficiency, sending motorists to the pump more frequently. It can also lead to costly trips to the repair shop for families, businesses, and farmers to fix the damage caused by higher ethanol blends to some vehicles and small engines, like lawn mowers. Forcing more ethanol to be blended into the fuel supply than consumers want, or that engines can safely handle, makes little sense,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte. “The Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act builds on the work of a bipartisan coalition in the House to reform this broken policy. We need relief from the burdens of the RFS now.”

Rep. Jim Costa added, “The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a well-intentioned policy that Congress passed in 2005. Unfortunately, with its passage came unintended consequences, which are negatively impacting American industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, and food service. The RFS is no longer sustainable as currently implemented and the Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act provides common-sense, long overdue reforms that address specific issues with the RFS.  This legislation will bring greater certainty to our gasoline retailers, engine manufacturers, and consumers, by imposing statutory deadlines for the mandated ethanol volumes to be published and capping that volume at no more than 10 percent. As the United States and the rest of the world continue to update our energy and transportation policies for the 21st century, Congress must work together on a bipartisan basis to pass this legislation, because it is an important step to bringing more certainty to the marketplace for transportation fuels.”

The Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act directs EPA to consider current market realities and cap the maximum volume of ethanol blended into the transportation fuel supply at 9.7 percent of projected gasoline demand as determined by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). It also requires EPA to meet its statutory deadlines in setting annual RFS volumes. If the EPA fails to meet a deadline, the previous RFS volumes under the blend wall would apply.

Text of H.R. 5180, the Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act can be found by CLICKING HERE. Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA) are also original cosponsors of the bill.


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Tags: Energy

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June 19, 2020 Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Liberation Day, is an unofficial American holiday and an official Texas state holiday, celebrated annually on the 19th of June in the United States to commemorate Union army general Gordon Granger's reading of federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas, on 19 June 1865, proclaiming all slaves in Texas were now free. Slavery had legally ended in 1863 but wasn’t announced in Galveston until 1865. Background of African Americans and Texas Politics Did you Know? • The Republican Party was formed in 1854 after the Democrats voted to protect and to extend slavery. • The 1860 Democrat platform declared its support for the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision. • The 13th Amendment passed without a single Democrat vote in Congress for civil rights for African Americans. • The Republican Party of Texas emerged in Houston on July 4, 1867 with 150 African Americans and 20 Anglos. The same year, the Ku Klux Klan actively began to attack African Americans and Republicans. • Two of the first three statewide leaders of the Republican Party of Texas were African Americans. • The first 42 African Americans elected to the Texas Legislature were all Republicans. • From 1865-1869, Texas Democrats passed “Black Codes” to prohibit African Americans from voting, holding office, and serving on juries. They also refused to acknowledge Juneteenth and even drafted a new State constitution requiring that State Representatives and Senators only be “of the white race.” • When the Republicans gained the Texas Legislature in 1869, they established a system of free public schools to educate all the children of the State (something Democrats had refused to do) and started a Texas State Militia and a Texas State police in which African Americans proudly served. • When Democrats recaptured Texas government in 1872, Democrat Governor Richard Coke’s election was described as “the restoration of white supremacy and Democratic rule.” • Texas Democrats engaged in bizarre gerrymandering specifically to prevent African American members from being re-elected to the Legislature. When African American Republican legislator Robert L. Smith departed in 1897, no African American was elected in Texas until 1966, when the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Texas Democrats to redraw districts. • Texas Democrats enacted a poll tax that reduced African American voter turnout in Texas from 100,000 to only 5,000 and passed white-only primary laws as well as Jim Crow segregation laws. • As victims of Democrat racism and segregation, African Americans were loyal to the Republican Party they started. In fact, Republican President Herbert Hoover received more than three-fourths of the African American vote over his Democratic challenger Franklin D. Roosevelt. • Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to appoint an African American to an executive position on the White House staff. • A higher percentage of Republican Members of Congress voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 than did Democrats. • African Americans made their most significant political and civil rights progress while affiliated with the Republican Party. Happy Juneteenth!

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