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Friday RFS Roundup – 10/31

Discussion from this week covers the effects that the mandate has on the average American consumer. From the massive amounts of land needed to produce biofuels to the decreasing energy content in gasoline, the ethanol mandate is a burden on our resources.

More from this week:

What will it take to feed the world in 2050?:

In Short: “Stop diverting so much of our food and feed to biofuel production, which the National Academy of Sciences estimated was responsible for 20-40 percent of the 2008 price spikes. FAO’s food projections do a poor job of incorporating biofuels into their estimates, and biofuels are one of the leading non-food uses of agricultural land. According to the International Energy Agency, crop-based biofuels demand will grow 150 percent by 2035 if we don’t change our policies. Government consumption mandates, such as the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, must be scaled back, an action that can do far more to keep food prices in check than investing in expanded agricultural commodity production.”

Increasing ethanol use has reduced the average energy content of retail motor gasoline:

In Short: “Ethanol and other oxygenates, which have lower energy content than petroleum-based gasoline components, have seen their share of total gasoline volumes increase from 2% in 1993 to nearly 10% in 2013. As a result, EIA's estimate of motor gasoline's average energy content per gallon has declined by about 3% over this 20-year period.”

Know your candidates

The 2014 mid-term elections are just one week away, and now is the time to really get to know the candidates. The best way to get Congress to fix the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is to make sure we elect people who know the facts and are ready to make a change.

Use our sheet below to ask your local politicians the right questions.

For the sake of our environment, our economy and your wallet, let the candidates know that you expect them to take action to reform this failing policy. Before you vote on November 4, make sure you know who you can count on to change the RFS.

Friday RFS Roundup – 10/24

Discussion this week focused on the diversity in challenges and consequences facing the ethanol mandate from environmental damage to low consumer demand for biofuels.

More from this week:

Will Biofuels Be Better For Plastics Than For Vehicle Fuel?:

In Short: “Increased ethanol production is required to meet government mandates, but low demand for the fuel from consumers is leading companies now in production to seek out other uses for their alcohol fuel.”

EPA’s Sleight of Hand on Cellulosic Fuel Rule Change:

In Short: “Unfortunately, the EPA, which was created to protect the nation’s land, water, and air from pollution, has become a politicized propaganda instrument for the administration’s biofuels agenda, and is intent on pushing an RFS policy that is undermining its institutional mandates in addition to harming Americans more directly.”

Corn Belt Pollution: Louisiana Shrimp And Oysters Pay The Price:

In Short: “Nitrogen run-off from the nation’s booming Corn Belt is the single largest source of nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River basin, which drains a stunning 41 percent of the waterways in the contiguous United States. Massive amounts of water, sediment and nutrients wash off cornfields from as far away as Minnesota, enter the Mississippi River system, and eventually reach the Gulf. The problem may worsen if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raises the ethanol mandate for blended gasoline next month—despite earlier commitments to reduce it. Fully one-third of corn grown in the U.S. already goes to ethanol refiners today, and that number could climb.”

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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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Friday RFS Roundup – 10/24

Discussion this week focused on the diversity in challenges and consequences facing the ethanol mandate from environmental damage to low consumer demand for biofuels.

More from this week:

Will Biofuels Be Better For Plastics Than For Vehicle Fuel?:

In Short: “Increased ethanol production is required to meet government mandates, but low demand for the fuel from consumers is leading companies now in production to seek out other uses for their alcohol fuel.”

EPA’s Sleight of Hand on Cellulosic Fuel Rule Change:

In Short: “Unfortunately, the EPA, which was created to protect the nation’s land, water, and air from pollution, has become a politicized propaganda instrument for the administration’s biofuels agenda, and is intent on pushing an RFS policy that is undermining its institutional mandates in addition to harming Americans more directly.”

Corn Belt Pollution: Louisiana Shrimp And Oysters Pay The Price:

In Short: “Nitrogen run-off from the nation’s booming Corn Belt is the single largest source of nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River basin, which drains a stunning 41 percent of the waterways in the contiguous United States. Massive amounts of water, sediment and nutrients wash off cornfields from as far away as Minnesota, enter the Mississippi River system, and eventually reach the Gulf. The problem may worsen if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raises the ethanol mandate for blended gasoline next month—despite earlier commitments to reduce it. Fully one-third of corn grown in the U.S. already goes to ethanol refiners today, and that number could climb.”

Corn Ethanol is Not a Renewable Fuel

Broken Promises of the Ethanol Mandate

Show More
Friday RFS Roundup – 10/31

Discussion from this week covers the effects that the mandate has on the average American consumer. From the massive amounts of land needed to produce biofuels to the decreasing energy content in gasoline, the ethanol mandate is a burden on our resources.

More from this week:

What will it take to feed the world in 2050?:

In Short: “Stop diverting so much of our food and feed to biofuel production, which the National Academy of Sciences estimated was responsible for 20-40 percent of the 2008 price spikes. FAO’s food projections do a poor job of incorporating biofuels into their estimates, and biofuels are one of the leading non-food uses of agricultural land. According to the International Energy Agency, crop-based biofuels demand will grow 150 percent by 2035 if we don’t change our policies. Government consumption mandates, such as the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, must be scaled back, an action that can do far more to keep food prices in check than investing in expanded agricultural commodity production.”

Increasing ethanol use has reduced the average energy content of retail motor gasoline:

In Short: “Ethanol and other oxygenates, which have lower energy content than petroleum-based gasoline components, have seen their share of total gasoline volumes increase from 2% in 1993 to nearly 10% in 2013. As a result, EIA's estimate of motor gasoline's average energy content per gallon has declined by about 3% over this 20-year period.”

Know your candidates

The 2014 mid-term elections are just one week away, and now is the time to really get to know the candidates. The best way to get Congress to fix the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is to make sure we elect people who know the facts and are ready to make a change.

Use our sheet below to ask your local politicians the right questions.

For the sake of our environment, our economy and your wallet, let the candidates know that you expect them to take action to reform this failing policy. Before you vote on November 4, make sure you know who you can count on to change the RFS.

Friday RFS Roundup – 10/24

Discussion this week focused on the diversity in challenges and consequences facing the ethanol mandate from environmental damage to low consumer demand for biofuels.

More from this week:

Will Biofuels Be Better For Plastics Than For Vehicle Fuel?:

In Short: “Increased ethanol production is required to meet government mandates, but low demand for the fuel from consumers is leading companies now in production to seek out other uses for their alcohol fuel.”

EPA’s Sleight of Hand on Cellulosic Fuel Rule Change:

In Short: “Unfortunately, the EPA, which was created to protect the nation’s land, water, and air from pollution, has become a politicized propaganda instrument for the administration’s biofuels agenda, and is intent on pushing an RFS policy that is undermining its institutional mandates in addition to harming Americans more directly.”

Corn Belt Pollution: Louisiana Shrimp And Oysters Pay The Price:

In Short: “Nitrogen run-off from the nation’s booming Corn Belt is the single largest source of nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River basin, which drains a stunning 41 percent of the waterways in the contiguous United States. Massive amounts of water, sediment and nutrients wash off cornfields from as far away as Minnesota, enter the Mississippi River system, and eventually reach the Gulf. The problem may worsen if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raises the ethanol mandate for blended gasoline next month—despite earlier commitments to reduce it. Fully one-third of corn grown in the U.S. already goes to ethanol refiners today, and that number could climb.”

Show More