Five months into the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency was supposed to complete a study looking at ethanol's effect on American air quality.
Good Intentions Gone Wrong: Can Congress Admit A Mistake?
"Good Intentions Gone Wrong: Can Congress Admit A Mistake?" is a Special Report prepared by The Washington Times Special Sections Department.
Lost habitat. Polluted waters. Less wildlife. These are all unintended consequences of the broken ethanol mandate.
The Renewable Fuel Standard that boosted ethanol use has fallen out of favor so badly that environmentalists now see themselves on the same side of the debate as Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz, arguing that the entire program is deeply flawed and must be completely overhauled.
For 40 years, I championed environmental protections and solutions to climate change in Congress. I'm proud of my work to strengthen the Clean Air Act, make drinking water safer, reduce pesticides in food, and cut oil consumption through strong fuel efficiency standards.
Unprecedented bicameral legislation seeks to reform the nation's fuel standard by reducing corn ethanol in gasoline, stepping up pursuit of "next generation" biofuels and returning some U.S. cropland back to natural wildlife habitat.
"The federal mandate for corn ethanol is both unwise and unworkable. Roughly 40 percent of corn in the United States is currently used for fuel, which increases the price of food and animal feed while also damaging the environment. Additionally, oil companies are unable to blend more corn ethanol into gasoline without causing problems for some gas stations and older automobiles.
Sen. Ted Cruz has emerged as Washington's leading critic of the ethanol industry, holding up federal nominees over his opposition to the national biofuels mandate, lambasting the sector in fiery Senate floor speeches, and leading a coalition of oil-friendly lawmakers to the Oval Office in hopes of weakening the Renewable Fuel Standard.
As it does every fall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it is mandating even higher levels of ethanol in our transportation fuel supply while ignoring market realities and the negative impact of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard on American consumers.
My name is Jerry Jung. I reside in Birmingham, Michigan. Three years ago, I started a webpage entitled "RethinkEthanol.com." The webpage has a link to my resum outlining both my credentials and my motivation to comment on the proposed rule.
As acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler will soon learn, if he hasn't already, reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is critical to the economy and boaters. The recreational boating industry supports 650,000 American jobs and contributes $39 billion to the economy each year. And, approximately 142 million boaters take to the water annually.
Manufacturers of lawn mowers, snowblowers, chainsaws, and other small-engine equipment continue fueling a debate over the supposed dangers of ethanol, but the ethanol industry argues that they are merely looking for a scapegoat to mask operator error.
Ethanol's rise over the past decade has given birth to an under-the-radar market: Americans who are willing to travel miles out of their way and pay significantly more per gallon for ethanol-free fuel.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently released a report on the impacts of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard that requires billions of gallons of ethanol be blended into the nation's gasoline supply each year. And the report — which is four years late — comes to the same conclusion that we've known for years: The RFS isn't working.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this summer issued its proposal for the 2019 mandated used of ethanol in the U.S. fuel supply. Of course, it was set at the absolute maximum allowed by law.
The federal Renewable Fuel Standard, aka the ethanol mandate, is often assumed to be a boon for the Midwest. Surely, the grain belt must benefit, even if everyone else has to suffer with inferior fuel at the gas pumps.
We support regulations that benefit the economic vitality of our capitalistic nation and serve no threat to our national security. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was a program that seemed to be consistent with that mission. However, it is without a doubt a program that is filled with "unintended consequences."
More than 10 years after the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was expanded and finalized in 2007, policymakers are still wrestling with how to implement this big-government boondoggle. Unintended consequences litter the past decade of the RFS regime, but reform has been hard to achieve even as the toll to consumers and taxpayers mount. As we near the 2022 horizon, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to become the sole arbiter of the RFS, Congress needs to act while it still can.
Only in Washington do we call expanding a program "reform" and more special-interest handouts "fixes." That's precisely what's happening with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) — an outdated ethanol mandate that drives up gasoline prices and puts refiners out of business.
Almost everyone reading this is aware that government interventions in the marketplace usually fail. From attempts to limit inflation in the 1970s to the sub-prime housing bubble in 2008, "government failure" is as real a threat to American prosperity as any "market failure" that's occurred in the past half-century.
A decade ago Congress created the current federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to jump-start the alternative fuels marketplace. The goal was to spur the production of billions of gallons of cellulosic biofuels derived from perennial grasses, agricultural residues, and other non-food sources. The hope was that blending these biofuels with U.S. gasoline and diesel would significantly reduce harmful emissions and improve U.S. energy security. However, more than 10 years later, it is clear the RFS is hopelessly ineffective.