While the restaurant industry continues pedaling myths about ethanol and lobbying Congress to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), it’s raking in record profits.
According to a National Restaurant Association forecast, sales will jump 3.6 percent in 2014 to a record $683.4 billion. This will be the fifth consecutive year of growth for the restaurant industry.
Restaurants are enjoying these record profits despite making sky-is-falling claims about ethanol driving up food costs and hurting their bottom lines. It all sounds eerily similar to anti-ethanol claims made by the poultry industry while it also enjoys record profits.
Are record profits not enough? Does the restaurant industry want more, even if it comes at the expense of the rural economy, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and giving consumers a choice at the pump?
Bravo to the restaurant industry for its recent success. It means jobs, economic development and vibrant communities. Like everyone else, corn farmers and renewable fuels supporters like going out for a good meal and wish nothing but continued success for American restaurants.
Unfortunately, the feeling doesn’t appear to be mutual.
The price of corn today is about the same as it was when the RFS was passed in its current form in 2007, yet the price you pay for a meal at a restaurant continues rising. Does the restaurant industry really think they can blame ethanol for that?
Instead of using its lobbying power to trash the RFS and push cliched myths about ethanol on behalf of Big Oil, the restaurant industry should deal with the real reason for food costs going up: high oil prices.
The restaurant industry’s attacks on corn farmers and ethanol need to end. The facts just don’t back up the rhetoric.