A Wendy's franchisee testified on Capitol Hill today on behalf of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, calling on Congress to repeal the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.

During his testimony, Ed Anderson said the mandate to use corn-based ethanol in the nation's gasoline supply is driving up food prices for restaurants and consumers and hurting job creation.

"When Congress passed the RFS it created a new burden for businesses like ours," he said. "We're asking Congress to dig into the true impact of the RFS and see how it has distorted the market at the expense of small employers. What sounded like a good idea has had serious consequences and artificially driven up the price for food both at home and in our restaurants. Restaurant owners and employers like us are being hit at a time when our economy can't afford it."

Anderson, who owns four Wendy's restaurants with 140 employees in the Yorktown, Va., area, testified during a subcommittee hearing held today by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He said higher food prices caused by the fuel standard have increased his expenses by $120,000 a year.

The 2005 law requires energy companies to blend billions of gallons of ethanol into gasoline each year in an attempt to reduce reliance on foreign oil. It has caused an increase in demand for corn that the NCCR claims has driven up the price not just of corn and other commodities, including wheat, potatoes, meat and dairy products.

The National Council of Chain Restaurants, a division of the National Retail Federation, represents chain restaurant companies.

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