The American Meat Institute (AMI) joined a diverse group of organizations in calling on Congress to oppose the Domestic Fuels Act of 2012. The Domestic Fuels Act would provide liability protection for retailers, engine manufacturers and fuel producers for any problems that occur as a result of using 15% ethanol in engine fuel (E15), a blend recently approved for use by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 “This bill would leave consumers and taxpayers vulnerable to the potential damages and costs incurred on their engines, public safety, health and the environment associated with using E15. The ultimate protection for businesses and consumers alike would be to slow the process of moving toward E15 until all of the potential harmful impacts have been addressed,” stated the letter sent to members of Congress last week.

The groups noted that there has yet to be a thorough analysis of the environmental and economic impacts of increasing the amount of allowable ethanol content in gasoline to 15% (E15). In fact, Congress and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) already agree that more testing and research is needed before E15 is ready for the marketplace.

 “A move to higher blends of ethanol with gas could also produce another demand shock to our corn market. This demand shock could cause food prices to spike at home and abroad. Biofuels expansion in general, and U.S. corn ethanol expansion in particular, are widely seen as one of the main contributors to the recent surge in global food prices,” the letter stated.

 “The groups have varied views on the overall issue of providing liability protection for a given industry or set of products affected by federal mandates. However, it is clear that the main effect of this legislation is to expand the existing web of government subsidies and regulations that support ethanol, while forcing consumers and taxpayers to absorb the real and exorbitant costs. We are united in our concerns about the impacts of ethanol for the environment, economy and consumers and urge you to oppose the Domestic Fuels Act,” the letter concluded.