Ethanol advocates marked April Fools' Day by facetiously urging Congress to overhaul the nation's Renewable Fuel standard.
In a letter to lawmakers, National Corn Growers Association CEO Chris Novak and Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dineen wrote that repealing or reforming the standard would "result in an immediate increase in foreign oil imports and strengthen champions of democracy such as Vladimir Putin."
The letter comes amid heavy debate in Washington over the 8-year-old standard, which requires establishing and subsequently increasing the percentage of alternative fuels blending into gasoline.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle introduced legislation in February to repeal the law. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, cited the effects of corn-based ethanol on the food supply, car engines and the environment.
Oil industry groups, meanwhile, long characterized the requirement as unfair in an era of decreasing driving and more fuel-efficient vehicles, while another biofuel group argued the current law restricts the use of fuels from waste or other plant materials.
Novak and Dineen, however, wrote that ethanol helps reduce gas prices, improve engine performance and lower emissions while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
"Fortunately, there is an alternative to Midwestern renewable fuel — we can simply import more foreign oil from countries such as Iraq, Russia, Libya and Venezuela," they wrote. "Seriously, what could go wrong?"