Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the summer driving season, and as this year’s estimated 37.2 million road trippers hit the highway, they have great expectations to get the most out of every dollar and every mile. Yet, if drivers knew just what a drag the federal ethanol mandate puts on their wallets, they might consider hitting the brakes.
The elephant in the road is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal law that forces you to pump ethanol-blended fuel, which yields fewer miles to the gallon than regular gasoline, into your gas tank. In fact, ethanol has 33 percent less energy than pure gasoline. That means vehicles will typically go 3 to 4 percent fewer miles per gallon on E10 (10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline) and 4 to 5 percent fewer miles on E15 (15 percent ethanol) than on 100 percent gasoline. Based on AAA’s estimates, if every car this Memorial Day weekend ran on E10, nearly 74.4 million miles would be lost—essentially sacrificed to the Big Ethanol lobby.
To make things worse, ethanol doesn’t just reduce your fuel efficiency, it’s also responsible for polluting the air you breathe. According to a recent study, burning ethanol fuel can increase ground-level ozone pollution which, in turn, can cause severe respiratory problems and even increase air quality related deaths by as much as 80 percent. That’s scary.
It’s one thing if you had a choice whether to buy ethanol-blended fuel, but this is a government mandate! There’s no choice to be had.
Take action this Memorial Day weekend to protect the quality of the air you breathe and your pocketbook. Tell the EPA and your representatives in Washington to end the ethanol mandate today!