The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is broken and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knows it. Today, the EPA announced it is seeking a waiver from the federal law that mandates biofuel production levels, which it will likely be granted for the first time ever. But if the government’s own biofuel consumption projections are to be believed, they’ll be seeking many, many more waivers from this broken law built on the flawed premise that our country’s ability to absorb biofuels will grow year after year. It’s time to acknowledge this policy needs reform.
The Reality Gap (shown above) is simply that, overtime, the RFS mandates more biofuel production than the U.S. fuel supply can absorb. The circumstances and data used to create the biofuels mandates set into stone by the RFS no longer reflect reality. Times and trends have changed, yet the RFS hasn’t been reformed to reflect those changes. This explains the EPA’s plea for a waiver from the law.
Thus, the RFS is broken and needs reform. Mandated biofuel production is supposed to escalate through 2022, but the EPA has been skirting the law—seeking exemptions, setting target levels of production way behind schedule—for several years. And it’s only going to get worse as mandates escalate further and further away from reality.
Plus, President Obama, who continues to support the RFS, and the EPA are choosing to ignore the overwhelming and conclusive science that links ethanol mandates to major environmental destruction, including significant air pollution, massive land conversion and water contamination. By supporting the RFS, Obama is tarnishing the environmental legacy that he set out to make.
So let’s call a spade a spade. This policy is pure politics, and it’s broken. It’s unfair for everyday Americans who have to deal with the fallout of this policy: lower fuel economy, engine damage, higher food prices and increased pollution. So who are our policymakers looking out for: us or the ethanol lobby?
If you’re tired of paying the price for a broken policy, go on the record against the RFS. Take a stand and let your voice be heard: The RFS is bad policy for America.
Click here to see how our partners feel about the new EPA ruling. Hint: The ruling ain’t cutting it.