The Feds are going to change the ethanol mandate:
A proposal for the EPA’s changes, leaked in October, would significantly scale back the ethanol-gas blend requirement to 2012 levels.
“If approved, the proposed cut in the biofuel mandate in 2014 to 15.21 billion gallons from 18.15 billion would mark an historic retreat from the ambitious 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) law that charted a path toward ever-greater use of clean, home-grown fuel,” said Reuters at the time.
Ethanol isn’t as clean as the Feds would have you believe. The production of ethanol results in an increase in the amount of petroleum products in agriculture. And not only do farmers burn diesel fuel, they also use more fertilizer (produced from…petroleum) because corn depletes soil more rapidly than other crops.
In addition, the ethanol mandate has pushed up corn prices, which gives farmers economic incentive to plow more land — a lot more land. “Five million acres of land set aside for conservation — more than Yellowstone, Everglades, and Yosemite National Parks combined — have vanished on Mr. Obama’s watch,” says the report. Not only does plowing grasslands destroy habitats, but it also releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Growing corn requires fertilizer, which requires natural gas to make. Fertilizer also has contaminated rivers and drinking water, says the report. And ethanol factories usually burn coal or gas, which dumps carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Ethanol production also increases food prices because there is less corn available to use as feed for livestock. Less feed = less livestock = higher prices for beef, pork, and chicken.
All in all, a win-win for U.S. citizens. Now, if Congress would only repeal the Bush mandate for ethanol production…