Congressman Rice Introduces Food Before Fuel Act

Bill Would Lower Price of Food and Gasoline by Repealing Ethanol Mandate Law 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC) introduced the Food Before Fuel Act with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) to repeal the ethanol mandate in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS drives up the cost of corn which inflates the prices of everyday items from groceries to gasoline. 

“The federal government should not be incentivizing farmers to grow corn for ethanol while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is jeopardizing the lives of Ukraine’s citizens and is on track to cause malnutrition across the world,” said Congressman Rice. “We need to prioritize using our agricultural resources for putting food on the table and driving down prices to help families during a time of record-breaking inflation.”

“Our country needs federal policies that are both good for the environment and our national economy, and the corn ethanol mandate is not good for either,” said Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. “The mandate has not reduced emissions, as promised, and corn ethanol poses many problems, including putting a strain on the food supply. Especially at a time when international conflicts are exacerbating global food shortages, it is smart and sensible to get rid of the mandate now and, instead, shift the focus to solutions that do not contribute to climate change and/or drive up the cost of food.”

The war in Ukraine has already caused food prices to shoot up as global markets anticipate a loss of wheat and maize exports from one of the world’s largest producers of these crops. Ending the ethanol mandate and diverting crops destined to be made into biofuels into food production instead would more than compensate for the loss of Ukraine’s exports. This would bring food prices down and help prevent a major global food shock.