National Restaurant Association Takes A Stand on Biofuels Policy

June 14, 2007
Contact: Chrissy Shott 202-331-5902, Maureen Ryan 202-331-5939

(Washington, DC) – As the Senate begins consideration of the Energy bill this week, the National Restaurant Association has sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) regarding energy policy as it relates to biofuels. The letter strongly urges the Senate leaders to consider the potential unintended consequences of rapidly increasing the renewable fuel mandate as proposed in S. 1419, the Renewable Field, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

“The Association supports efforts to develop efficient renewable fuels to improve energy security, availability, and diversity,” said Peter Kilgore, acting interim President and Chief Executive Officer. “However, the renewable fuel mandate will likely be filled by food production inputs and we urge the implementation of safeguards against price distortions in the food supply.”

The letter expressed concern over the continued aggressive expansion of corn ethanol production, which diminishes the availability of soybeans and other crops that provide healthy oil alternatives that the food industry is more broadly utilizing.

The letter also emphasized other means of producing biofuels, such as the use of recyclable restaurant oil in biodiesel, which offer renewable fuel opportunities.