Friday RFS Roundup – 8/1

August 1, 2014

This week, we were on the edge of our seats for the premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One, which premiered Wednesday night. And for any of you who are just joining, we are devoted Sharknado fans. Just like Sharknado, the RFS is out of control! From increased food and gas prices to environmental and engine damage, ethanol has failed consumers across the nation. This year, to exemplify the real dangers of this failing policy and the very real possibility of ‘sharknados,’ we made a couple of Vine videos for your viewing pleasure: check them out here and here.

And on a more serious note, here’s some news from this week:

Politico, Iowa Senate: Ethanol Fuels a Clash in Corn Country: Political and energy analyst Erica Martinson, looks at the effects that the Renewable Fuel Standard is having on the 2014 midterm elections. In the controversial Iowa Senate race, it will come down to “policy vs. politics” and whether or not corn will have a lasting role in our fuel supply. Stay tuned.

In Short: “Rep. Bruce Braley is betting the farm on corn — and Democrats’ hold on the Senate may be in danger if he’s wrong. The Iowan is touting federal support for ethanol while competing in one of 2014’s most critical Senate contests — and he’s banking on his ability to champion his state’s cause in D.C., where the corn industry’s political power has waned. While critics ranging from environmentalists to anti-subsidy fiscal conservatives have turned against ethanol, Braley is busy posing at gas stations that sell the corn-based biofuel, campaigning with farmers and pressuring EPA to protect the federal mandate that guarantees corn’s role in the U.S. fuel supply.”

The Des Moines Register, Biz Buzz: 'Face of Hunger' Found in Iowa: National Geographic is doing a multi-part series that looks at the “face of hunger” in different areas across the country; this month, the magazine takes a look at hunger in Iowa. Photographer, Amy Toensing, and author, Tracie McMillan take the reader on a visual exploration of the struggle Iowa families face to put food on their tables, despite the abundance of food grown and farm subsidies in their state.

In Short: “Photographer Amy Toensing said the magazine picked Iowa ‘because the state ranks as one of the highest recipients of farm subsidies, and yet has a large number of families who are 'food insecure.' ‘It's a cruel irony that people in rural Iowa can be malnourished amid forests of cornstalks running to the horizon,’ author Tracie McMillan notes in the piece. ‘… These are the very crops that end up on Christina Dreier's kitchen table in the form of hot dogs made of corn-raised beef, Mountain Dew sweetened with corn syrup, and chicken nuggets fried in soybean oil. They're also the foods that the U.S. government supports the most.’”

Reuters, Biofuel Groups Press White House on More than Just 2014 Targets: Advanced biofuels producers are pushing for fundamental changes regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard. Like us, they are arguing that corn ethanol isn’t better for the environment.

In Short: “Meeting with senior White House adviser John Podesta last week, the Advanced Biofuels Association pressed the White House to speed up approvals of new fuels that can qualify as advanced and cellulosic fuels, known as pathways… Corn-based ethanol is currently classified as a “conventional biofuel” that delivers only a 20-percent emissions improvement over gasoline. Some environmental groups have blasted the fuel as not much better than fossil fuels and critics have proposed stripping corn ethanol out of the mandate.”

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