Free-Market Coalition Urges House To Abolish the Renewable Fuel Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C, Aug. 14, 2013 – Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and 10 other free-market organizations called for repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

In a letter to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Ranking Member Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who are undertaking a thorough review of the Renewable Fuel Standard program, the group urges the leaders to abandon the idea entirely.

“Such compulsion is anathema to basic American notions of justice and equality under law,” the free market coalition letter states.

To clarify this point, the letter poses a simple thought experiment: “Imagine the howls from RFS supporters if Congress were to compel corn farmers to sell annually increasing volumes of wheat, soybeans or rice. Or imagine the outcry if Congress imposed on corn farmers a 15-year plan establishing volumetric targets for the purchase of certain types of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides or harvesting machinery.”

The RFS establishes mandatory targets for the blending and sale of biofuels in the nation’s motor fuel supply. Under the RFS, fuel importers, blenders and refiners are “obligated parties” – bound by law to blend and sell annually increasing quantities of biofuels made chiefly by other companies.

The RFS is frequently criticized for its adverse impacts on food prices, wildlife habitat, and hunger-stricken nations, and potentially devastating impact on fuel prices. “These criticisms are valid and important,” said CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis. “But even apart from those concerns, Congress should repeal the RFS because it conflicts with basic tenets of a free society. In a free society, no company should be forced to execute and assure the success of another company’s business plan.”

Other organizations joining CEI in the letter to Reps. Upton and Waxman are: 60 Plus, American Commitment, American Conservative Union, American Energy Alliance, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Freedom Action, Freedom Works, Frontiers of Freedom and National Taxpayers Union.