As conservation lands disappear, animal habitats vanish with them. Since the ethanol mandate went into effect, in 2005, the Corn Belt states alone have lost 2.8 million acres from the conservation reserve program. Over the same period, pheasant harvests in those six states dropped by 44 percent.
While we await the announcement of 2014 ethanol blending levels by the EPA, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) filed a letter to Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA calling for adjustments to the Renewable Fuel Standard, with the support of 168 other members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.
Sportsmen and their congressional backers say federal ethanol policy is destroying wildlife habitat and contributing to water quality problems.
The RFS was ostensibly designed to produce cleaner car emissions and decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil. Sounds good—but not in practice.
Nearly 10 percent of the nation’s ethanol plants have stopped production over the past year, in part because the drought that has ravaged much of the nation’s crops pushed commodity prices so high that ethanol has become too expensive to produce.
As corn prices hit record highs, the folly of the federal ethanol mandate becomes ever more apparent. The widespread drought in the Corn Belt projects what will be the lowest since 2006–2007 and that the per-acre yield will be the worst since 1995–1996.