Reforming the RFS already has bipartisan support in Congress because policymakers on both sides of the aisle have seen the negative impact it has had in their home states.
The Renewable Fuel Standard was supposed to be better for the environment than traditional gasoline. But in fact it actually does more harm than good to the environment and the rural economies it was supposed to bolster.
After taking a few days to review the letter Senators Markey (D-NH) and Boxer (D-CA) sent you regarding the EPA’s recommendation to lower the Renewable Fuel Standard, we’ve taken the liberty of making sure you had a version that aligns with reality.
At a time when every drop of water counts in California, ethanol plants are using upwards of 150 gallons of water to refine 1 gallon of ethanol — using enough water to supply a California town of 5,000 every year.
While ethanol does, admittedly, curb emissions from an automobile’s tailpipe, getting it to that point actually increases GHG emissions and diverts more than 40 percent of our corn crops into our fuel supply.
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.
Republicans have long criticized the EPA’s renewable fuel standards, which require gas refiners to mix biofuels with conventional gasoline. Rep. Peter Welch (D., Vt.) remarks, originally reported in the Hill, are at odds with the Obama administration’s stance on the program.
The corn-based fuel has long been subsidized by the government, which should rankle Republicans. It's worse for the environment than gasoline, which should irk Democrats. And ethanol has been shown to drive up food prices, because farmers are devoting more acreage to corn for fuel instead of food.
Anticarbon central planning was bound to distort markets, but it turns out that the planners often increase emissions as they try to engineer President Obama's "new energy economy."
Fefiners in the U.S. are required to blend gasoline with ethanol, and that compliance cost has already risen more than ten times what it was at the beginning of this year.
When crops such as corn are used to produce biofuels food and animal feed availability is reduced, food prices rise dramatically and hunger intensifies worldwide, as already impoverished people struggle to secure sustenance.
We can’t have a conversation about greenhouse gas emissions and the environment without first addressing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Why? Because not only is the current generation of biofuels failing to deliver promised environmental benefits, it’s actually working against those goals.