Friday RFS Roundup – 10/31

October 31, 2014

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.”