A bipartisan coalition of members of Congress, led by U.S. Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.), heeded concerns of livestock producers that current U.S. renewable fuels policies are artificially manipulating corn prices and putting a strain on corn supplies.

The lawmakers have introduced the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) Flexibility Act of 2011, which will tie the amount of corn ethanol production required under the RFS to U.S. corn supplies.

“The federal government’s creation of an artificial market for the ethanol industry has quite frankly created a domino effect that is hurting consumers. It is expected that this year about 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop will be used for ethanol production,” penned Reps. Goodlatte and Costa in a letter to their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Our legislation will alter the RFS to give relief to our livestock and food producers and consumers of these products. This is a common sense solution to make sure we have enough corn supplies to meet all of our demands.”

During a recent hearing of the House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry, Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, a livestock and grain marketing and economic advisory company in Adel, Iowa, said on behalf of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), that since 2004, the last year before the RFS was implemented, corn used for ethanol production increased from nearly 1.4 billion bushels to an estimated 5 billion bushels in 2010-2011, a 382 percent increase.