Over 30 Congressional Members led by Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Johnson urging him to preserve the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) in last year’s energy bill and to refuse granting any waiver to the RFS requirement.

The letter stated, “A careful look at the facts reveals that American ag producers can and will meet our domestic and international commitments for food and feed and still make a significant and growing contribution to lessening our dependence on imported oil with homegrown, American-made renewable fuels. The harsh criticism biofuels have received recently in connection with the rise in food prices is unwarranted.

“If we look at the facts, several other factors are central to higher food prices: record oil prices, soaring global demand for commodities from oil to grains, poor weather conditions, a weak U.S. dollar, and restrictive ag policies around the world. In fact, a recent study by Texas A&M University noted, ‘The underlying force driving changes in the ag industry, along with the economy as a whole, is overall higher energy costs, evidenced by $100/barrel oil.’ ”