The Renewable Fuel Standard was supposed to be better for the environment than traditional gasoline. But in fact it actually does more harm than good to the environment and the rural economies it was supposed to bolster.
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.
Proponents of the ethanol mandate promised Americans that their plan would save the environment; but 10 years later, America’s premier “environmental” policy is actually doing more harm to the environment than good.
In theory, the government mandate requiring that ethanol fuel be blended into America’s gasoline supply was intended to spur energy independence, reduce emissions and jumpstart rural economic development. Unfortunately, the RFS has failed to deliver on its environmental goals.
For the first time since the ethanol mandate was enacted, a government agency has confirmed what the refining industry has said for years…forcing ethanol into our fuel supply will increase gas prices.
The UNs Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Environmental Working Group, the Associated Press, Congressmen from both sides and others have revealed corn ethanol produces more GHGs than gasoline, is immensely water-intensive, zaps the land of essential nutrients and demolishes animal habitats.
A bill known as the EXPIRE Act came out of the Senate Finance Committee. If passed, the EXPIRE Act would renew energy tax credits slated to expire, including the extension of the $1.01 tax credit for any cellulosic biofuel produced through 2015 — a measure that could cost taxpayers $55 million.
Today, we divert more than 40 percent of our corn crops to ethanol. Further, government has been subsidizing “gasohol” for years. In 1979, the going rate was 40 cents per gallon of E10. And the final lesson is this: we’ve been hoping for cellulosic biofuels forever.
While ethanol producers are bringing in record profits, dairy and poultry farmers have been forced to close up shop, unable to afford feed for animals.
While we await the announcement of 2014 ethanol blending levels by the EPA, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) filed a letter to Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA calling for adjustments to the Renewable Fuel Standard, with the support of 168 other members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a Field of Dreams-like policy. It was created with the belief that if the government built a market for biofuels, the demand and technologies to support production would magically come, like Shoeless Joe Jackson emerging from an Iowa cornfield.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was intended to raise the price of corn crops. And it has — to the point that despite trading at three year lows, the price for corn is still far above the pre-mandate price — which is causing problems for the rest of our agriculture industry.
With the goal of reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, Congress created the RFS in 2005. What has been the result? Greater reliance on imports of foreign sources of energy, mandates of next to non-existent fuel, and higher food prices.
The original law mandated the use of one billion gallons of cellulosic fuel in 2013. This may have been the worst government forecast in history. Even with taxpayer subsidies, total cellulosic volume in 2012 was about 20,000 gallons. The government was off by a mere 99.9%.
Environmentalists fantasize about cellulosic ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol will, they assure us, eliminate U.S. dependence on the Middle East and guarantee a cooler planet with less carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, fantasy dies hard in the cold light of the real world.
On Tuesday, the EPA released the 2013 ethanol mandate target numbers, eight months later than original scheduled. There was no change in total or advanced biofuels numbers, but there was a reduction in the mandate for cellulosic ethanol—a type of fuel not yet commercially available in the U.S.
This week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held an extensive hearing on the effects of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Over the course of two days and three panels, diverse stakeholders testified on the many pitfalls of the ethanol mandates.
Makers of some renewable fuels are asking the federal government to ease quotas for use of their products in a bid to head off a congressional overhaul of a program that refiners say is driving up costs at the pump.
In a House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee hearing on July 23 on the Renewable Fuel Standard, representatives of the Ethanol Lobby said that cellulosic biofuels are “just around the corner.” RFA’s President and CEO Bob Dinneen has been saying this for years:
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on the RFS in its Energy and Power Subcommittee to gain clarity — from government officials — on how the RFS is impacting the environment, our nation’s fuel supply and consumers.
This year, EPA is proposing that refiners buy 14 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol despite its little production. Since cellulosic production isn’t happening, refiners must buy credits to comply with the EPA’s rule—paying an additional tax for a product that doesn't exist.