With the release of the 2017 renewable volume obligations (RVOs), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has demonstrated once again that it has not learned from its past errors.
Despite the proven environmental and economic failures of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the EPA’s 2017 RVOs raise the amount of ethanol blended into our gasoline supply.
This new proposal means 300 million more gallons of corn ethanol, the production of which has caused an environmental nightmare for the U.S. Not only that, a higher corn ethanol mandate will inflate the risk of misfueling and damaging engines —in boats, motorcycles, chainsaws, lawnmowers and classic cars, just to name a few.
Because of the RVO increase, we could see a drastic fall in the availability of ethanol-free gasoline – a fuel many boaters and small engine enthusiasts prefer. The RFS has also led to higher food and commodity prices and less energy efficient fuel, that’s costlier in the long-run, for consumers across the country.
On top of all the issues caused by the mandates, it’s not even clear whether our country will be able to meet the EPA’s 2016 RVO requirements, further proving that increasing the RVOs for 2017 is completely absurd.
While the proposed volumes are lower than those originally set by Congress, they are still not at a level that is safe and beneficial for consumers. The very fact that the EPA is choosing to intervene, for a second time, to mandate biofuel blends different from the levels written into the law is all the proof you need to show that the RFS is beyond broken. It doesn’t work as it was written, and it needs to be reformed by Congress once and for all.
We’re not the only ones concerned about the EPA’s proposal. Take a look at what some of our partners are saying about the EPA’s decision to mandate 700 million more gallons of biofuels into the marketplace: