January 24, 2014

Corn Ethanol in Gasoline Gets a Failing Grade

I was glad to see the EPA propose to reduce the amount of ethanol required to be blended into our fuel. Now, I urge the EPA, and Congress, take this proposal to its logical conclusion:  eliminate ethanol mandates altogether. First, the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to dictate what Americans use to fuel their vehicles. Also, initially the use of ethanol added to gasoline was intended to help us move towards energy independence, reduce the cost of fuel, and decrease pollution.

More recently, U.S. energy discoveries, along with the development of Clean Coal, have shown that we can have energy independence virtually forever, if the federal government would cease its campaign to obstruct, delay and destroy fossil fuel industries, which continues to desolate whole communities in large swaths of the country. As for the hoped for reduction in pollution, there is virtually no difference between the amount of pollution produced by the combustion of gasoline alone versus combined with ethanol. In addition, prices at the pump show that the ethanol/gasoline blend is much more expensive than gasoline alone, mostly due to high ethanol production costs.

Consumers across the nation have spoken out against the ethanol mandate and called for a full repeal. We don’t want to see high levels of ethanol in fuel ruining the engines of our older cars or making our chainsaws, generators, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, snow blowers, etc. unworkable. We are tired of seeing sky-high food costs due to edible corn crops being diverted to inedible corn crops to produce ethanol.  Corn per se is widely used as a food staple, as an ingredient in many processed foods for humans, and as feed for livestock, which leads to increased prices for such commodities as meat, dairy, eggs, cheese, etc.

Most countries around the world, have seen sharply rising food prices, food scarcities and rationing, at times leading to political unrest and contributing to revolutions (i.e. North Africa), triggered in part by the diversion of growing corn crops from food crops to non-food varieties used for ethanol production. Hunger and starvation in the poorest nations (children suffer from famine disproportionately more than adults) of the world are on the rise; decreasing food varieties of corn crops, caused directly by U.S. laws mandating ethanol production, plays a devastating role in this humanitarian crisis.

Absent any real advantage, and considering the multiple, compelling reasons for America to cease mandating any portion of corn production as inedible varieties for ethanol production which we are then forced to use in combination with gasoline to fuel our vehicles, we must, in all good conscience, abandon this dangerous and failed Renewable Fuel Standard law.

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