Conservatives Call For Repeal of RFS

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, last week released a sweeping critique of U.S. agriculture policy.

In a 148 page report, the foundation called for Congress to revamp crop insurance and food standards.

It also called for a repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard; claiming biofuels hurt the ag economy, cost taxpayers more, and have not reduced dependence on foreign oil.

Overall, it calls U.S. biofuel policy a case study of unintended consequences of government intervention.

Iowa Renewable Fuels Executive Director Monte Shaw disagrees with the accusations. He says government intervention has helped make the market more free. Looking at a local gas station, there used to be only two choices: ethanol or non-ethanol. Now you can find up to five.

Shaw says, "You've got no ethanol, you've got E-10, you've got E15, you've got super premium with ethanol, and you've got E-85. That is more empowerment of consumers that is putting the free market to work. And it took a government action to create that, because of the government action of the last 100 years that created a monopoly for the petroleum side."

The Heritage Foundation adds in the report that the intent was to make an alternative case to the farm bill, which it accuses of cronyism and big government.