Vermont Democratic Representative Pete Welch, along with New Hampshire Democratic Senator Tom Udall, introduced companion legislation into Congress attempting to reform the Renewable Fuels Standard.
On a press call announcing the legislation Thursday, the lawmakers were joined by Collin O’Mara, President of the National Wildlife Federation, as well as Debbie Sease, Director of the Sierra Club National Campaign.
The National Corn Growers Association says the bill seeks to kill what has been the most successful renewable energy program America has ever had. An NCGA news release says, “This bill ignores current science reflecting the significant environmental benefits of ethanol and would have a catastrophic impact on the nation’s economy, energy security, and family farmers.”
The bill would immediately phase out the ethanol mandate and reduce the amount of ethanol in American fuel by up to one billion gallons. It would also help farmers return cornfields to pasture and wildlife habitat through a ten cents per RIN fee to fund a new Private Land Protection and Restoration Fund in the U.S. Treasury.
It would pay easements designed to keep private land out of agricultural production and
keep the lands in conservation uses, including grassland, forests, and pollinator habitat.