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Orlando Sentinel: Meat group has beef with fuel standard

Monday, September 30, 2013

By Anna Ondick

The Southeastern Meat Association represents the interests of hundreds of meat and poultry packers, processors and distributors, as well as the individuals and firms that furnish services and supplies to them.

SEMA members are committed to delivering quality beef, pork and poultry products to the stores and restaurants in our area at the best possible prices. We’re cost-conscious and environmentally conscious.

When the federal Renewable Fuel Standard was introduced, it appeared to offer a reasonable response to rising fuel costs and environmental concerns. However, the benefits have proved illusory, while the drawbacks are all too real — and getting worse.

The Renewable Fuel Standard is driving the need for gasoline with more ethanol content, such as E15 and E85; however, few gas stations are selling the fuel, and the car companies will deny warranties for E15-related damage.

This does not make sense. In addition, the diversion of a substantial portion of our nation’s corn output to ethanol production has led to increases in feed prices, which have also driven up the costs incurred by livestock producers, SEMA members and, ultimately, American families.

SEMA members continually review their operating procedures and make adjustments as necessary to control costs and improve production. Surely our representatives in Washington, D.C., should take the same approach to these fuel standards.

Anna Ondick executive director, Southeastern Meat Association, Oviedo

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