The same day President Obama’s State of the Union address charted a course for 2014 to be a year of action, the EPA comment period closed on a proposed reduction to the ethanol mandate. Notably missing from the President’s speech? President Obama touted natural gas, not ethanol, as the bridge fuel to a clean energy future.
It seems the realities of this failing policy are gaining traction. Just last week, the EU proposed to cut biofuels targets from their 2030 renewable energy goals. First-generation biofuels, like corn ethanol, are failing to deliver on the promises made when mandates like the
Renewable Fuel Standard were put in place.
While ethanol does, admittedly, curb emissions from an automobile’s tailpipe, getting it to that point actually increases GHG emissions and diverts more than 40 percent of our corn crops into our fuel supply.
Americans cannot afford the increased prices at the grocery store, loss of conservation lands or potential engine damage at stake as we continue to divert food resources to fuel.
The EPA’s proposed reduction to the mandate is a good start, but for the sake of farmers and refiners alike, it is time for Congress to take long-term action on this failed policy.