Washington Post Calls for End to Corn Ethanol Mandate

November 14, 2013

In his Washington Post blog post on the Renewable Fuel Standard, Ryan Cooper – just one of the paper’s resident Dems — called for an end to the corn ethanol mandate.

Despite its good intentions, Cooper explained that the policy is just not living up to its promises.

“On the climate and environmental side, corn ethanol is turning out to be worse than anyone imagined. On the conservative side, corn ethanol only survives due to a government mandate that it be included in American fuels — the stuff of free market nightmares.”

Cooper points out that corn ethanol was never supposed to be the end all, be all of the mandate. Cellulosic biofuels, made of plant waste, algae or other non-food materials, were supposed to contribute heavily to the required levels of ethanol production.

“The mandate was supposed to spark the development of cleaner biofuels (like ‘cellulosic’ ethanol), which are compelling in theory. But it’s been six years with no result, and the current situation is doing so much damage that it’s time to just cut our losses.”

Cooper’s prodding comes while we await the EPA’s decision on 2014’s required blending levels. Rumor has it that the organization will lower the overall mandate for the first time, finally acknowledging that cellulosic fuels are not currently viable.

With rare bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, and organizations from all different backgrounds — from global hunger to media to food groups – calling for reform, tell your Congressman it is time for a permanent fix.