EWG: Corn Ethanol is NOT a Renewable Fuel

March 18, 2016

You would think that a fuel mandated by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), would be…well, renewable.

However, Emily Cassidy with the Environmental Working Group comes to a very different conclusion after consulting report after report of scientific and policy evidence:

Corn ethanol is NOT a renewable fuel…by the EPA’s own definition.

We’re dealing with one of the most broken policies in America. And while Cassidy’s conclusion does not come with much surprise to us, it’s sadly ironic.

The RFS, as written, “strictly prohibited destruction of the landscape to grow more corn.” What’s actually going on? Land set aside for conservation is being plowed in order to create additional cropland. According to a report from the University of Wisconsin, more than seven million acres of grasslands have been converted to meet RFS ethanol demands.

The bottom line is that, although originally created to protect the environment, ethanol mandates have actually increased carbon emissions through the plowing of fragile grass and wetlands. As Cassidy states, “the EPA has dropped the ball by not enforcing the law” around land conversion.

Is this irony at its finest, or just an example of another failed, government policy? For more, be sure to read the latest post from Emily Cassidy and EWG.