We tried. It didn’t work.
Let’s Put the Ethanol Mandate Behind Us.
There is a mandate in place that requires your gasoline to contain 10% ethanol. The intent was to reduce carbon emissions, but in reality, ethanol production is more harmful to our environment and economy than lawmakers realized.
Rethink Ethanol is a new initiative to address our nation’s failed mandated and subsidized corn-based ethanol policies. We will be engaging voters, thought leaders, industry experts, and policymakers in a frank conversation on the effects of corn-based ethanol.
This is the face of ethanol mandates.
Ethanol plant operators are fixated on the federal mandate and rules because without significant federal assistance, ethanol makes no economic sense (“Trump Urges More Help for Ethanol,” U.S. News, June 19). Numerous studies as well as common sense conclude that it takes more fossil-fuel energy to make ethanol than it yields. Think of the heat used to distill corn along with energy consumption of agricultural tractors, trucks and chemicals.
Ethanol production’s renewable identification numbers (RINs) act like subsidies. If refineries don’t put 10% ethanol in their gasoline, they must acquire RINs, the price of which varies wildly. When former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt granted small refineries waivers from this onerous mandate, the price of RINs collapsed. Stable markets are based on the equilibrium of supply and demand. In normal markets prices increase gradually as demand increases. But the market for RINs is all or nothing. If there are adequate RINs they are theoretically worth nothing. If there aren’t enough, they are theoretically priceless. Mandates and markets don’t function well together.
FOR MORE THAN a decade, the United States has pursued the foolhardy energy policy known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. Thanks to legislation passed by a Democratic Congress… read more
U.S. oil and natural gas producers are shattering records — recently overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia to lead the world in crude oil production. Fueled by advanced technology, the American energy resurgence… read more
Joint comments on the EPA’s proposed rule “Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020”
As national and international environmental, conservation, and development organizations, we respectfully submit these joint comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule “Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020” published… read more
The National Wildlife Federation today hosted a briefing on a recently released Environmental Protection Agency report detailing the serious environmental impacts stemming from the Renewable Fuel Standard… read more
A major report from the U.S. EPA confirms that the nation’s biofuels mandate has contributed to negative environmental impacts, including loss of wildlife habitat, increased water pollution… read more
The rationale to pass the Renewable Fuel Standard included a smorgasbord of admirable objectives, none of which have materialized. These goals included an inexpensive way to increase the octane ratings of gasoline… read more
videos about ethanol
Estimated increase in cost of corn between 2006 and 2011 attributed to the RFS mandate. The RFS creates a guaranteed demand for ethanol that does not reflect market realities.
Source: Our Energy Policy – The Effect of the US Ethanol Mandate on Corn Prices
The number of years it took us to remedy our lands from edge tillage. Edge tillage is planting right up to the edge of the field thereby removing protective bordering lands and increasing soil erosion, chemical runoff and other problems. It took us 40 years to end edge tillage in this country, and overnight ethanol brought it back with a vengeance.
Source: Forbes Magazine: “It’s Final — Corn Ethanol Is Of No Use”
Recent land conversions to grow more corn and soybeans released 131 million tons of carbon into the air between 2008 and 2012, as much as 34 coal-fired power plants.
Source: April 2015 study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin.
The EPA can improve the quality of our air, water, and land by accepting the reality that the national policy to promote corn-based ethanol is a failure. This policy, initially well intended, is devastating to our environment and to our wildlife. It’s distorting food quality and prices. And, our government is wasting taxpayers’ money to further the damage caused by corn-based ethanol. It is time to stop and rethink ethanol.
In 2007, Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard with good intentions: reducing dependence on fossil fuels, accelerating development of sustainable biofuels, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Unfortunately, nine years later, there have been severe unintended consequences—large-scale loss of wildlife habitat (especially native grasslands) and degradation of water quality—and wildlife has borne the brunt of these impacts.
Ethanol production is damaging to land, water, air and wildlife.