Recent Updates

Friday RFS Roundup – 10/17

Earlier this week, a group of more than 30 oil refining executives wrote to the White House encouraging President Obama to lower the mandated levels of ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard. While the rule is currently awaiting final approval from the Office of Management and Budget, consumers are fearful as the potential for higher ethanol levels could lead to greater engine damage, increased food costs and rising gas prices.

More from this week:

•  Reuters: U.S. gas station constraints complicate 2014 biofuel mandate: officials:

In Short: “Refiners on Tuesday wrote to the White House, arguing against raising the proposed requirements for using ethanol and biodiesel in U.S. fuel supplies so close to year-end.”The Obama administration is trying to balance its support for renewable fuels with awareness of infrastructure constraints at gas stations as it finalizes targets for 2014 biofuel use, agency officials said on Tuesday."

Fuel Fix: Refiners to Obama: Keep renewable fuel quotas down:

In Short: “Refiners on Tuesday implored President Barack Obama to hold firm on plans to scale back renewable fuel quotas for 2014, warning that if the administration gives in to Corn Belt demands for higher mandates, it could cause gasoline prices to spike."

'Now is not the time to backtrack on a proposal to avoid economic disruption,' 31 refining executives said in a letter to Obama.  'Technological and market limitations exist, and consumers — not the federal government — should determine what goes in their cars.'”

Dear Mr. President…

After taking a few days to review the letter Senators Markey (D-NH) and Boxer (D-CA) sent you regarding the EPA’s recommendation to lower the Renewable Fuel Standard, we’ve taken the liberty of making sure you had a version that aligns with reality.

Check out our corrected letter below, which fact checks the many oversights on the environmental soundness of this policy and the viability of cellulosic ethanol — the second generation biofuels that the policy was supposed to stimulate but after hundreds of millions of federal dollars have yet to appear.

Refiners also took the opportunity this week to urge the administration to consider the consequences of raising the final mandate, this late in the year, for consumers.

Tell Senators Markey and Boxer to check their work!

Friday RFS Roundup – 10/3

This week, the media switched its focus from the EPA and OMB’s final deliberations on this year’s final ethanol mandate levels to the need for Congress to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Year-after-year, farmers, refiners and consumers alike are forced to wait for EPA to finalize the mandate, most often reducing the cellulosic numbers down to nothing. After a decade of this failing policy, it is clearly time for Congress to take permanent action on the RFS, providing stability in our food and gas markets.

More from this week:

•  The Hill: Ethanol rules causing more harm than good:

In Short: “When it was first passed into law in 2005, and subsequently expanded in 2007, the RFS seemed to offer an array of benefits. By encouraging development of corn ethanol and other advanced biofuels, the RFS appeared to provide a way to diversify our nation’s fuel supply, reduce our reliance on foreign oil, cut greenhouse gas emissions and support rural communities. Projections showing an increase in gasoline demand also seemed to promise an expanding marketplace for these biofuels.

But this potential has not been realized.”

• The Hill: It’s past time to repeal RFS:

In Short: “America can’t afford an energy policy based on political calculations. The RFS is an unmitigated disaster. It has artificially created markets through a mandate designed to help a select few and has achieved none of its stated goals. Few of the original arguments that helped get it past Congress are still relevant.

We don’t need a broken government mandate to address our energy needs. The private sector and an abundance of natural resources have extended our energy production to the point that American oil exports are a hot topic of debate. The RFS mandate is a relic that does more harm than good.”

Great Falls Tribune: Let’s eliminate ethanol to save money:

In Short: “Simply put, the ethanol mandate was bad policy when it was approved almost a decade ago and it remains bad policy today. Congress approved it as part of an effort to strengthen U.S. energy security. But that goal has been achieved, not as a result of the ethanol mandate, but rather a dramatic increase in domestic oil production due to the shale revolution. In addition, there is less demand for gasoline because of improved gas mileage in new-model vehicles.”

Watertown Times: Time for Congress to repeal ethanol mandate:

In Short: “Instead of attempting to reform the renewable standard, Congress should repeal it to protect American consumers from higher fuel and food costs.”

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Legislative Updates will be coming soon.

A Coalition Against Bad Policy

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again… the ethanol mandate is everyone’s problem.

Oil refiners do oppose the ethanol mandate (primarily because of the looming blend wall), but they are hardly the only ones who take issue with the policy. Environmentalists, taxpayers, food producers, consumer protection groups of all types, anti-hunger advocates and even farmers have all spoken out against the RFS.

This year alone, our coalition has joined arms with even more poultry farmers who are struggling to feed their flocks due to the skyrocketing price of feed; gasoline retailers forced to stock a fuel that consumers neither know about nor want; and outdoor equipment groups grappling to find fuel that won’t damage their small engines.

On Thursday, April 10, Congressman Pete Welch (D-VT), Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group, Rob Green of the National Council of Chain Restaurants and others will discuss how the ethanol mandate is impacting all Americans in an event hosted by The Hill Magazine in Washington, DC. You can watch the event on The Hill’s website or join the conversation on Twitter using #TheHillLive and #RFS2014.

The price you pay

NBC Nightly News shone a light this week on rising food prices that are impacting consumers across the United States.

While Brian Williams and the gang focused on the drought in California, it is important to note that these recent price increases are part of a longer-term trend.  Beef, poultry, milk and cheese prices have all been on the rise for nearly a decade—in fact, food prices are up 17.8 percent.

With the introduction of the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005, the demand for ethanol increased making it more and more difficult for ranchers to feed their herds. By increasing the competition for and price of corn, the ethanol mandate has unintentionally been driving up the cost at the grocery store. By 2022, the RFS will increase food costs for Americans by $3 billion—annually—according to the Congressional Research Service.

And now the drought, which has been affecting various parts of the country since 2012, is making what is already bad, worse.

We can’t change the weather, but we can make changes to this failing policy. Tell Congress it’s time for a real solution.

Ghosts of Ethanol Past, Present and Future

In the holiday classic A Christmas Carol, the cold-hearted, greedy Ebenezer Scrooge is given a glimpse at his Christmas past, present and future. In our version of the story, we’re going to let you peek at ethanol’s ghosts.

Ethanol Past

While opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard (the government’s ethanol mandates policy)is growing today, some have been wary of diverting food to fuel for decades. An article published by Nicholas Wade in 1979 reveals some of the early concerns:

“The rule of thumb in Iowa is that a 1 percent decrease in corn supply raises corn prices by 2 percent.”

Yet today, we divert more than 40 percent of our corn crops to ethanol, and we’ve felt the results in corn prices from the butcher to the baker.

Further, government has been subsidizing “gasohol” for years. In 1979, the going rate was 40 cents per gallon of E10 (a fuel blend containing ten percent ethanol).

And the final lesson from the ghost of ethanol past is this: we’ve been hoping for cellulosic biofuels forever. More on that later…

Ethanol Present

Unfortunately, the realities of today’s ethanol mandate (the RFS) are no better. Refiners, environmentalists, ranchers, world hunger groups, wildlife advocates, journalists and even the Environmental Protection Agency all take issue with one part of the policy or another.

Ethanol Future

All wounds heal with time, right? Actually, no, according to Energy Information Administration. Despite   the ethanol lobby promising that cellulosic (non-corn) biofuels are “just around the corner,” the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) annual American Energy Outlook report tells us that even by 2040, it is unlikely that we’ll be anywhere close to the mandated level of cellulosics.

This means decades more subsidies for the industry and continued reliance on corn to meet the ethanol mandate.

Just like Scrooge, it’s time for Congress to see the error in its ways.

Tell your Congressman to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard.

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Smarter Fuel Future Advocates’ Ethanol Warning Labels

From Barbara T.



From Bill S.



From Bradford T.



From David A.



From Dudley D.



From Edward G.



From Franklin M.



From Howard S.



From Linda R.



From Lisa W.



From Lucinda S.



From Marilyn L.



From Mary O.



From Mike R.



From Patricia C.



Phillip R.



From Tom K.



From Walter E.



From William T.
 

 

Comparing the Ethanol Mandate with Projected Ethanol Demand

Consumer Price Index Since Ethanol Mandate

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Corn Ethanol is Not a Renewable Fuel

Broken Promises of the Ethanol Mandate

The Real Cost of the Ethanol Mandate

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Friday RFS Roundup – 10/17

Earlier this week, a group of more than 30 oil refining executives wrote to the White House encouraging President Obama to lower the mandated levels of ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard. While the rule is currently awaiting final approval from the Office of Management and Budget, consumers are fearful as the potential for higher ethanol levels could lead to greater engine damage, increased food costs and rising gas prices.

More from this week:

•  Reuters: U.S. gas station constraints complicate 2014 biofuel mandate: officials:

In Short: “Refiners on Tuesday wrote to the White House, arguing against raising the proposed requirements for using ethanol and biodiesel in U.S. fuel supplies so close to year-end.”The Obama administration is trying to balance its support for renewable fuels with awareness of infrastructure constraints at gas stations as it finalizes targets for 2014 biofuel use, agency officials said on Tuesday."

Fuel Fix: Refiners to Obama: Keep renewable fuel quotas down:

In Short: “Refiners on Tuesday implored President Barack Obama to hold firm on plans to scale back renewable fuel quotas for 2014, warning that if the administration gives in to Corn Belt demands for higher mandates, it could cause gasoline prices to spike."

'Now is not the time to backtrack on a proposal to avoid economic disruption,' 31 refining executives said in a letter to Obama.  'Technological and market limitations exist, and consumers — not the federal government — should determine what goes in their cars.'”

Dear Mr. President…

After taking a few days to review the letter Senators Markey (D-NH) and Boxer (D-CA) sent you regarding the EPA’s recommendation to lower the Renewable Fuel Standard, we’ve taken the liberty of making sure you had a version that aligns with reality.

Check out our corrected letter below, which fact checks the many oversights on the environmental soundness of this policy and the viability of cellulosic ethanol — the second generation biofuels that the policy was supposed to stimulate but after hundreds of millions of federal dollars have yet to appear.

Refiners also took the opportunity this week to urge the administration to consider the consequences of raising the final mandate, this late in the year, for consumers.

Tell Senators Markey and Boxer to check their work!

Friday RFS Roundup – 10/3

This week, the media switched its focus from the EPA and OMB’s final deliberations on this year’s final ethanol mandate levels to the need for Congress to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Year-after-year, farmers, refiners and consumers alike are forced to wait for EPA to finalize the mandate, most often reducing the cellulosic numbers down to nothing. After a decade of this failing policy, it is clearly time for Congress to take permanent action on the RFS, providing stability in our food and gas markets.

More from this week:

•  The Hill: Ethanol rules causing more harm than good:

In Short: “When it was first passed into law in 2005, and subsequently expanded in 2007, the RFS seemed to offer an array of benefits. By encouraging development of corn ethanol and other advanced biofuels, the RFS appeared to provide a way to diversify our nation’s fuel supply, reduce our reliance on foreign oil, cut greenhouse gas emissions and support rural communities. Projections showing an increase in gasoline demand also seemed to promise an expanding marketplace for these biofuels.

But this potential has not been realized.”

• The Hill: It’s past time to repeal RFS:

In Short: “America can’t afford an energy policy based on political calculations. The RFS is an unmitigated disaster. It has artificially created markets through a mandate designed to help a select few and has achieved none of its stated goals. Few of the original arguments that helped get it past Congress are still relevant.

We don’t need a broken government mandate to address our energy needs. The private sector and an abundance of natural resources have extended our energy production to the point that American oil exports are a hot topic of debate. The RFS mandate is a relic that does more harm than good.”

Great Falls Tribune: Let’s eliminate ethanol to save money:

In Short: “Simply put, the ethanol mandate was bad policy when it was approved almost a decade ago and it remains bad policy today. Congress approved it as part of an effort to strengthen U.S. energy security. But that goal has been achieved, not as a result of the ethanol mandate, but rather a dramatic increase in domestic oil production due to the shale revolution. In addition, there is less demand for gasoline because of improved gas mileage in new-model vehicles.”

Watertown Times: Time for Congress to repeal ethanol mandate:

In Short: “Instead of attempting to reform the renewable standard, Congress should repeal it to protect American consumers from higher fuel and food costs.”

Show More

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