Higher gas prices and plowing over natural conservation land should be cause enough for Congress to revisit the ethanol mandate, but the fundamental problem with policy is simply a disconnect with economic basics.
In theory, the government mandate requiring that ethanol fuel be blended into America’s gasoline supply was intended to spur energy independence, reduce emissions and jumpstart rural economic development. Unfortunately, the RFS has failed to deliver on its environmental goals.
For the first time since the ethanol mandate was enacted, a government agency has confirmed what the refining industry has said for years…forcing ethanol into our fuel supply will increase gas prices.
As the federally-mandated volume of ethanol usage increases and motor fuel consumption declines, to avoid lawsuits, gasoline refiners must purchase federal renewable "credits" to make up for the ethanol they don't blend, causing higher gasoline prices even in periods of lower demand.
In a House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee hearing on July 23 on the Renewable Fuel Standard, representatives of the Ethanol Lobby said that cellulosic biofuels are “just around the corner.” RFA’s President and CEO Bob Dinneen has been saying this for years:
This April, two separate bills were introduced in the US House of Representatives to reform, or repeal, the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that mandates how much ethanol and other biofuels must be blended into gasoline.
A Department of Energy study found that E15 caused hotter operating temperatures, erratic running, and engine-part failure. But even gas with the usual 10 percent ethanol (E10) could help destroy small engines.
The boating industry has found that fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol causes severe damage to boat engines. While marine engines are not currently approved by the EPA for use with E15, misfueling at the pump is a danger for boaters unaware that E15 is not compliant with boat engines.