The three ways lowering the ethanol mandate would help the environment

June 5, 2014

In 2005, at the peak of Americans gasoline consumption, mandating that ever-increasing amounts of ethanol be used in our fuel supply seemed like a good idea for the environment.
In the near-decade since the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was introduced, the unintended consequences to our environment have begun to reveal themselves including higher lifecycle emissions, unbelievable land conversion, water consumption and demolished habitats.
In an unprecedented moment of clarity, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a reduction to the 2014 ethanol mandate. Environmental Working Group did an analysis of how that reduction would affect the environment and the results might surprise you…

  1. In terms of emissions, lowering the mandate is equivalent to taking 580,000 cars off the road for a year.
  2. U.S. corn crops used for ethanol production soared from 6 percent in 2000 to 40 percent in 2013.

  3. From 2008-2011, eight million acres of U.S. land was converted to grow corn.

While this policy was sold as a “silver bullet” for the environment, the Environmental Working Group’s analysis clearly shows that it’s breaking all of its promises. Tell the EPA to stay the course on the 2014 mandate reduction.