This week, the media switched its focus from the EPA and OMB’s final deliberations on this year’s final ethanol mandate levels to the need for Congress to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Year-after-year, farmers, refiners and consumers alike are forced to wait for EPA to finalize the mandate, most often reducing the cellulosic numbers down to nothing. After a decade of this failing policy, it is clearly time for Congress to take permanent action on the RFS, providing stability in our food and gas markets.
More from this week:
In Short: “When it was first passed into law in 2005, and subsequently expanded in 2007, the RFS seemed to offer an array of benefits. By encouraging development of corn ethanol and other advanced biofuels, the RFS appeared to provide a way to diversify our nation’s fuel supply, reduce our reliance on foreign oil, cut greenhouse gas emissions and support rural communities. Projections showing an increase in gasoline demand also seemed to promise an expanding marketplace for these biofuels.
But this potential has not been realized.”
In Short: “America can’t afford an energy policy based on political calculations. The RFS is an unmitigated disaster. It has artificially created markets through a mandate designed to help a select few and has achieved none of its stated goals. Few of the original arguments that helped get it past Congress are still relevant.
We don’t need a broken government mandate to address our energy needs. The private sector and an abundance of natural resources have extended our energy production to the point that American oil exports are a hot topic of debate. The RFS mandate is a relic that does more harm than good.”
In Short: “Simply put, the ethanol mandate was bad policy when it was approved almost a decade ago and it remains bad policy today. Congress approved it as part of an effort to strengthen U.S. energy security. But that goal has been achieved, not as a result of the ethanol mandate, but rather a dramatic increase in domestic oil production due to the shale revolution. In addition, there is less demand for gasoline because of improved gas mileage in new-model vehicles.”
In Short: “Instead of attempting to reform the renewable standard, Congress should repeal it to protect American consumers from higher fuel and food costs.”