Restaurants Against the RFS


In today’s world of fast-food, corporate greed knows no boundary as America’s renewable fuels industry is not only under attack from Big Oil, but Big Grease now as well.

The attacks on farmers have been seen from the National Council of Chain Restaurants including Wendy’s, Arby’s, Domino’s, McDonald’s and many more in what seems to be an annual assault on America’s most successful renewable fuel policy. As these fast-food restaurants continue to smear the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in an attempt to grow their already enormous corporate profits, they in turn hurt America’s family farmers who work to meet tomorrow’s market demands for food, feed fuel and fiber in an increasingly sustainable manner.

These restaurants argue that the RFS is hurting their business by driving up their prices. This of course if absolutely absurd with the price of corn currently at 1970s era levels, well below the cost of production for some farms. How cheap would these fast-food empires like to see the price of corn?

In addition, real-world data shows us that corn is simply a minuscule part of determining what food costs today with less than 16 cents of each dollar spent on food coming back to the farm. Data from the World Bank shows us that the price of crude oil is the driver for more than 50% of the increases in food prices since 2004.

It should also be noted that the benefits of the RFS go well beyond the farm. The renewable fuels industry supports nearly 400,000 jobs, saves consumers money at the pump, decreases America’s dependence on foreign oil (by 515 million barrels in 2014 alone), drastically reduces greenhouse gas emissions, contributes more than $52 billion to the GDP and over $10 billion in taxes.

We would encourage all ethanol supporters to consider choosing a different place to eat the next time you are dining out.

For more on this subject, read: Super-sized Hogwash: Examining the Chain Restaurants’ Rhetoric about the RFS and Food Prices


3 thoughts on “Restaurants Against the RFS

  1. Dale Neyhart

    We don’t need to take corn production for fuel to reduce the barrels of oil as the ND boom on oil proves. We could have produced our oil if we just would have drilled. This will reduce the cost of gasoline so we could produce more feed for cattle. But you are right the amount that the farmer gets for his food is an infinitesible compared to other costs.

    • Jesse Johnson

      Dale, even with the ND oil boom, America is still importing oil and we need to remember that those resources are finite, while ethanol is renewable, cleaner-burning and more affordable for consumers. Ethanol currently provides 10% of the nation’s fuel supply and keeps gas prices down. Currently consumers in South Dakota can save 20-30 cents per gallon by simply choosing E10 over E0. Ethanol also supports thousands of jobs and has revived rural America while providing farmers and communities with value-added opportunities.
      In another point, farmers have no problem meeting the demands for affordable food, feed, fuel and fiber.

  2. JCurrie

    I can think of an area in the Midwest that has not been friendly to their corn growing neighbors and that is Greater Milwaukee. Rep. James Sensenbrenner is the lone “skunk in the wood pile” from the Corn Belt who is a co-sponsor of the House RFS Repeal Bill. Mr. Sensenbrenner is a constant critic of ethanol and E15. Milwaukee based Briggs & Stratton is a regular critic of ethanol and so is the Milwaukee Journal. When Gov. Walker came out in support of the RFS in Iowa earlier this month, the Milwaukee Journal had an editorial with an anti ethanol slant accusing Walker of flip flopping.
    For those reasons, I would encourage all ethanol supporters to consider choosing a beer from a different city than Milwaukee. Politicians from the St. Louis area have always supported ethanol and the RFS. Their are tens of thousands of ethanol & RFS supporters following influential Twitter sites. Rural taverns, seed corn companies, John Deere empoyees, etc. could make a huge statement to Rep. Sensenbrenner and his Milwaukee cronies that ethanol and the RFS is good for the country and the Midwest.

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