California Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 523 by Assemblyman David G. Valadao into law. AB 523 eliminates all future state funding for the production of ethanol derived from corn after July 2013. Currently, approximately $6 million is provided to a very small group of corn ethanol producers. AB 523 would redirect that money away from corn ethanol and towards other forms of renewable energy, including ethanol not derived from corn.
"Over a year ago, we brought together our friends in agriculture and many from the environmental community to oppose further state funding for the production of corn ethanol. I originally ran for office to fix problems and this bill fixes a problem," said Valadao, "At a time when feed and food costs are on the rise, AB 523 is more important than ever."
Producing corn ethanol for use in motor fuels unnecessarily increases the demand for corn, which raises the prices that consumers pay for a wide variety of foods at the grocery store, ranging from corn syrup sweeteners found in soft drinks, to meat, dairy and poultry products. Ethanol derived from corn has had a crippling effect on many in agriculture as it significantly raises the cost of feed.
"The California dairy families we represent greatly appreciate Assemblyman Valadao's strong leadership in shepherding AB 523 through the California Legislature." said Rob Vandenheuvel, general manager, Milk Producers Council, "With families struggling to keep up with rising food costs, there's no reason our State government should be spending taxpayer dollars to subsidize the burning of our corn supply. We applaud Assemblyman Valadao and his colleagues in California for reversing this unwise public policy."
The bill enjoys the support of an Agricultural Coalition (including Agricultural Council of California, Alliance of Western Milk Producers, Association of California Egg Farmers, California Cattlemen's Association, California Dairy Campaign, California Dairies, California Poultry Federation, Central Coast Fryers/Fulton Valley Farms, Dairy Farmers of America-Western Area Council, Diestel Turkey Ranch, Foster Farms, Hilmar Cheese Company, Land O' Lakes, Milk Producers Council, Pacific Egg & Poultry Association, Pittman Farms, Squab Producers of California, Western United Dairymen, Zacky Farms) California Dairy Campaign; California Farmers Union; Dairy Farmers of America; Pacific Egg & Poultry Association; Sierra Club California; Union of Concerned Scientists; United Food and Commercial Workers Union 8-Golden State.
Assemblyman Valadao represents Central California's 30th Assembly District. The 30th Assembly District includes all of Kings County and parts of Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties.