We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: the ethanol mandate is everyone’s problem.
Debra Saunders, a columnist at the San Francisco Gate, does an amazing job explaining why this policy is so fundamentally flawed, pointing out that two Senators, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), with almost opposite political points of view are coming together asking for reform, especially on the ethanol mandate:
“Environmentalists have turned on corn ethanol…Environmental Working Group Vice President Scott Faber told Congress that the corn ethanol Renewable Fuel Standard ‘is polluting America's air and water, contributing to climate change, hurting consumers and hindering the development of cleaner biofuels.’
Big Oil doesn't like the ethanol standard [because] federal automobile fuel-efficiency regulations have put a dent in the demand for gasoline. Oil companies already buy enough ethanol to blend 10 percent of it into gasoline; they are up against a “blend wall” – they have to buy more ethanol than they can use.
Big Food doesn't like the ethanol mandate; diverting roughly 44 percent of the corn supply to gas tanks has driven up the cost of livestock feed and people food…
Antipoverty activists oppose the ethanol standard because of its effect on food prices and food supply. Oxfam America charges that the 2007 regulation has resulted in a 15 percent reduction in global corn supplies.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute and Taxpayers for Common Sense support the Feinstein-Coburn Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2013.”
While the EPA’s proposed reduction of the mandate for 2014 is a step in the right direction, a long-term legislative fix from Congress is important to provide stability for farmers and refiners alike.
It’s time to tell Congress to fix this broken policy – tell Congress to reform the RFS today.