Representative Pete Olson (R-TX) this week introduced the Domestic Alternative Fuels Act that would allow ethanol produced from alternative sources, such as domestic natural gas and coal, to be included under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and compete with corn-based ethanol.

“It’s long past time for Congress to address the failed RFS,” Representative Olson said in a press release. “The RFS focus on corn ethanol has translated into higher feed costs for livestock producers and higher food costs for working families. While Congress considers eliminating the RFS altogether, we should in the meantime allow greater participation and competition under the program. That will benefit farmers, businesses and consumers.”

“NCC supports broadening the eligibility requirements of a portion of the mandated ethanol volumes to allow a wider variety of sources to be used for production,” said NCC Vice President of Communications Tom Super.  “NCC commends Representative Olson for his leadership on this issue.”

The bill would establish Domestic Alternative Fuel as an independent fuel category and list it within the regulations that specify volume obligations to meet the RFS. The artificial market created by the RFS mandate will require 36 billion gallons of ethanol in 10 years, more than doubling the volume required in 2011. An estimated 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop was used for ethanol production last year, resulting in diminished supplies for livestock and food producers and higher corn prices.

“Because ethanol today is derived almost completely from corn, this bipartisan legislation would help relieve some of the pressure being placed on corn and help chicken producers who have been struggling with high feed costs,” Super concluded.  “This alternative source would be especially important in years like this one when corn is in limited supply with only a marginal carryover projected for ending stocks.”