Recent Updates

What the Ethanol Lobby doesn’t want Chicago to Know

There’s a political storm brewing in the biggest city in the Corn Belt, Chicago, as city alderman Burke and the ethanol lobby push for a mandate on higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85, which contain 15 and 85 percent ethanol, respectively.

Despite the lack of consumer demand and potential for massive engine damage that higher ethanol blends can cause, proponents of the mandate, including a local chapter of the American Lung Association (an organization who once lobbied against ethanol mandates), say that forcing E15 on consumers will be “better for the air.”

Unfortunately, science says otherwise.

Fellow Midwesterner, Dr. Jason Hill, Land-Grant Professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota and Resident Fellow of the University’s Institute on the Environment, conducted a study comparing gasoline vehicles to their alternatives, including corn ethanol. According to Dr. Hill, “If we're using ethanol for environmental benefits, for air quality and climate change, we're going down the wrong path.”

The study considered hybrids, diesel, CNG, corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol and electric vehicles and found that vehicles powered by corn ethanol and coal-generated electricity were the most damaging to air quality.

When considering the full lifecycle of corn ethanol, its use actually increases ozone, poor air quality deaths and particulate matter from higher fertilizer use than using gasoline.

And the ethanol lobby is no stranger to broken promises. This “green” policy actually does more harm than good to our environment for a lot of reasons, including water and land use, higher all-around emissions and now these air quality issues. Further, despite assurances that fuel blends would work with American’s existing autos, these higher blends are only actually approved for 10 percent of the cars on the road — and none of today’s small engines like boats, lawn mowers, snow blowers, chainsaws or motorcycles.

Thankfully Mayor Rahm Emanuel has delayed the policy for now, but Chicagoans need to stand up against these false claims which will actually make air worse, while putting engines at risk.

Outside of Chicago? Well your city (or state) could be next.

Tell Congress we need action in 2015, not more confusion and misinformation from the EPA.

Friday RFS Roundup – 12/5

As we approach yearend without a 2014 ethanol mandate, discussion this week covers the worries consumers have about the future of our gas prices and food security.

More from this week:

What’s Corn Got to Do With It? World Hunger and America’s Largest Crop:

In Short: “Ethanol has been widely criticized over the years, yet growing corn for fuel is a booming industry. According to NPR, there is more than eight times more ethanol in the U.S. now than there was in 2000; increasing ethanol use is good news for farmers, who often produce more corn than they know what to do with, but bad news for just about everyone else.”

Why gasoline prices are down:

In Short: “Repeal the ethanol mandate. This rule forces refineries to blend increasing amounts of ethanol into gasoline each year, reaching 36 billion gallons in 2022. It’s already driven up fuel and food prices, according to multiple federal-agency and government-backed studies.”

EPA PUNTS AGAIN:

In Short: “So, we will finish the 2014 compliance period without a 2014 RFS final rule. But what does this mean for 2015? At least 2015 does not have elections for the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives. But we know that the Agency will be late again, because the proposal for the 2015 RFS has not yet been sent to OMB for interagency review. Recall that the final rule for the 2015 RFS should be issued by November 30, 2014. EPA expects the 2015 RFS proposal to be issued in May 2015, but RFS tardiness is not new: after all, EPA did not promulgate the 2013 RFS final rule until August 2013. Given these constant stoppages, maybe the title of this blog should actually be “Delay, Delay, Delay, and Delay Some More.””

Forgetting 2014

"We give up."

That's basically what the Environmental Protection Agency said in late November, in announcing that — despite being a year late — they still can't figure out how to set the ethanol mandate for 2014.

The EPA is hurting everyone by creating instability in the corn market, which impacts refiners, corn farmers, livestock producers and consumers together. The EPA’s favorite tactic, delaying the final rule for the 2014 RFS until sometime next year, is further proof that the policy is broken and the agency is no longer a good steward. It is time for Congress to take bipartisan action on the Renewable Fuel Standard instead.

Some say it's politics. Some say it's government bureaucracy gone wrong. Some say it's Big Corn doing whatever it can to protect its profits.

But to us it means more families struggling with the price of food. It's more pain at the pump. It's more environmental damage. It's more hunger. It's more closed farms and harmed businesses. It's more engines put at risk.

Demand reform on the ethanol mandate from your Congressman!

Show More

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.

Show More
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

Show More
Corn Ethanol is Not a Renewable Fuel

Broken Promises of the Ethanol Mandate

The Real Cost of the Ethanol Mandate

Show More
What the Ethanol Lobby doesn’t want Chicago to Know

There’s a political storm brewing in the biggest city in the Corn Belt, Chicago, as city alderman Burke and the ethanol lobby push for a mandate on higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85, which contain 15 and 85 percent ethanol, respectively.

Despite the lack of consumer demand and potential for massive engine damage that higher ethanol blends can cause, proponents of the mandate, including a local chapter of the American Lung Association (an organization who once lobbied against ethanol mandates), say that forcing E15 on consumers will be “better for the air.”

Unfortunately, science says otherwise.

Fellow Midwesterner, Dr. Jason Hill, Land-Grant Professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota and Resident Fellow of the University’s Institute on the Environment, conducted a study comparing gasoline vehicles to their alternatives, including corn ethanol. According to Dr. Hill, “If we're using ethanol for environmental benefits, for air quality and climate change, we're going down the wrong path.”

The study considered hybrids, diesel, CNG, corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol and electric vehicles and found that vehicles powered by corn ethanol and coal-generated electricity were the most damaging to air quality.

When considering the full lifecycle of corn ethanol, its use actually increases ozone, poor air quality deaths and particulate matter from higher fertilizer use than using gasoline.

And the ethanol lobby is no stranger to broken promises. This “green” policy actually does more harm than good to our environment for a lot of reasons, including water and land use, higher all-around emissions and now these air quality issues. Further, despite assurances that fuel blends would work with American’s existing autos, these higher blends are only actually approved for 10 percent of the cars on the road — and none of today’s small engines like boats, lawn mowers, snow blowers, chainsaws or motorcycles.

Thankfully Mayor Rahm Emanuel has delayed the policy for now, but Chicagoans need to stand up against these false claims which will actually make air worse, while putting engines at risk.

Outside of Chicago? Well your city (or state) could be next.

Tell Congress we need action in 2015, not more confusion and misinformation from the EPA.

Friday RFS Roundup – 12/5

As we approach yearend without a 2014 ethanol mandate, discussion this week covers the worries consumers have about the future of our gas prices and food security.

More from this week:

What’s Corn Got to Do With It? World Hunger and America’s Largest Crop:

In Short: “Ethanol has been widely criticized over the years, yet growing corn for fuel is a booming industry. According to NPR, there is more than eight times more ethanol in the U.S. now than there was in 2000; increasing ethanol use is good news for farmers, who often produce more corn than they know what to do with, but bad news for just about everyone else.”

Why gasoline prices are down:

In Short: “Repeal the ethanol mandate. This rule forces refineries to blend increasing amounts of ethanol into gasoline each year, reaching 36 billion gallons in 2022. It’s already driven up fuel and food prices, according to multiple federal-agency and government-backed studies.”

EPA PUNTS AGAIN:

In Short: “So, we will finish the 2014 compliance period without a 2014 RFS final rule. But what does this mean for 2015? At least 2015 does not have elections for the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives. But we know that the Agency will be late again, because the proposal for the 2015 RFS has not yet been sent to OMB for interagency review. Recall that the final rule for the 2015 RFS should be issued by November 30, 2014. EPA expects the 2015 RFS proposal to be issued in May 2015, but RFS tardiness is not new: after all, EPA did not promulgate the 2013 RFS final rule until August 2013. Given these constant stoppages, maybe the title of this blog should actually be “Delay, Delay, Delay, and Delay Some More.””

Forgetting 2014

"We give up."

That's basically what the Environmental Protection Agency said in late November, in announcing that — despite being a year late — they still can't figure out how to set the ethanol mandate for 2014.

The EPA is hurting everyone by creating instability in the corn market, which impacts refiners, corn farmers, livestock producers and consumers together. The EPA’s favorite tactic, delaying the final rule for the 2014 RFS until sometime next year, is further proof that the policy is broken and the agency is no longer a good steward. It is time for Congress to take bipartisan action on the Renewable Fuel Standard instead.

Some say it's politics. Some say it's government bureaucracy gone wrong. Some say it's Big Corn doing whatever it can to protect its profits.

But to us it means more families struggling with the price of food. It's more pain at the pump. It's more environmental damage. It's more hunger. It's more closed farms and harmed businesses. It's more engines put at risk.

Demand reform on the ethanol mandate from your Congressman!

Show More

Demand
Change

Sign the pledge below to call on Congress to revisit the failed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and enact common-sense policies that put your right to safety and value first.

Subscribe Via RSS

Connect with us

Twitter

Follow us on Twitter