Renewable Fuels Association Says NCCR Campaign Serves Up Half-Truths

The Renewable Fuels Association says Big Food and Big Oil are on the defensive after losing in their bid for a waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard. The National Council of Chain Restaurants has rolled out a campaign on the impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard on food prices with a study and a guest opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. According to RFA - NCCR avoids any discussion of what really drives food prices in both. RFA President Bob Dinneen says every reasonable analysis of the factors influencing food prices has concluded that the cost of diesel fuel, gasoline and other energy inputs is the major driver. Dinneen says the RFS is working - with renewable fuels already displacing 10-percent of annual gasoline demand and dramatically lowering fuel costs for Americans.

Dinneen also points out that food prices are not advancing abnormally. According to USDA and the Department of Labor - annual food inflation in 2012 and 2013 will be right in line with the 20-year average. RFA notes food inflation rates since the RFS was adopted in 2005 have actually been lower on average than they were throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.

As for the analysis released by NCCR Wednesday - Dinneen says it's important to mention no original analysis was conducted. Instead select studies were reviewed. He says it relied in part on a study by Farm Econ that is more than four years old and has been thoroughly debunked. When more recent studies were considered - the analysis found the RFS would increase corn prices by no more than four-percent in 2015 - which would have an almost indiscernible impact on consumer food prices. Dinneen says more recent peer-reviewed work that did not support the funder's political position was ignored.

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