WASHINGTON — The National Council of Chain Restaurants is back at it today talking to members of Congress in an attempt to make their case against the Renewable Fuel Standard. Their “Lobby Day” comes just as Fuels America released new polling numbers showing a large majority of people believe fast food restaurants should support renewable fuels, and that oil and gasoline are the real factors behind food prices.
Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), highlights the difference between the views of the chain restaurants and their clientele, “This is clearly an example of ‘drive-thru’ politics. Today’s Fuels America poll shows that more than 8 out of 10 people believe the truth, that oil prices are driving food prices. The big shots who flew into Washington today want Congress to believe that ethanol and the RFS are driving up the price of corn and food. They are quick to blame it all on ethanol, ignoring the impact of high oil prices. But they are here under a false premise because ethanol demand is not driving corn prices higher. In fact, corn prices are actually falling in anticipation of record crops and an increase in world production. The real question is when will fast food restaurants reduce their prices to reflect their lower costs?”
Dinneen continued, “Chain restaurants, as experts in drive-thru’s, should be the most cognizant of the impact of oil prices on food and transportation. There is a near perfect relationship between the UN Food Price Index and World Crude Oil prices, magnifying the negative impact of Big Oil. Additionally, since the RFS was enacted in 2005, oil prices have risen on average 10% a year, while retail food prices have only increased an average of 2.9% a year. The facts are clear, oil prices are the culprit behind rising food prices, not ethanol.”
Please see RFA Infographic: “Ethanol Feeds and Fuels the World”.
Facts worth noting:
• Ethanol is not produced from the sweet corn that humans consume. It is made from field corn, which is used for livestock feed and industrial purposes.
• One-third of every bushel of grain used in the ethanol process is returned to the market as nutrient-dense livestock and poultry feed.
• Less than 3% of the global grain supply was used by the U.S. ethanol industry in 2012.
• 34.4 million metric tons of animal feed were produced by ethanol plants in 2012.
• 7 hamburgers per person worldwide could have been produced from the ethanol industry’s 2012 animal feed output. That is 50 billion hamburgers.
• Only 16 cents of every dollar spent on food is related to agricultural ingredients. The remaining 84 cents goes to energy, packaging, food processing and other costs.