10 years later, Renewable Fuel Standard fails to live up to environmental promises

By David Degenarro

This is a story of unintended consequences.

Ten years ago President George W. Bush signed into law the Renewable Fuel Standard, a federal program created to advance a number of national priorities: reducing energy dependence on foreign countries, raising farm incomes, and curbing levels of climate pollution emitted by fossil fuels.

Indeed, the Energy Independence and Security Act was heralded as a cure-all for many challenges facing America at the time, and, not surprisingly, attracted strong support from both political parties in Congress, farm organizations and environmental groups, including the National Wildlife Federation.

The idea was that under the Renewable Fuel Standard the Environmental Protection Agency would establish mandatory levels of “renewable” fuel produced from corn, soy, and other plant-based fuels to be blended into gasoline in increasing amounts each year.


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