06.24.2020 0

EPA biofuel mandates don’t make sense

By Rick Manning

Did you know that adding corn into oil based gasoline actually increases the cost of that gas over non-blended gasoline?

How about the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency’s own data shows that refiners had to rely on 481 million gallons of foreign fuel to meet the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard mandate in the United States in 2019?  America achieves energy independence, yet is still compelled by outdated federal rules to buy foreign fuel to meet an arbitrary mandate.

And just one more, did you know that the National Wildlife Federation wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency supporting reducing ethanol blending requirements due to the findings in an EPA produced, “comprehensive report to Congress in 2018 that outlined the negative environmental impacts of biofuel production.”

And yet in spite of the environmental harm, increased cost (estimated at $1.80 more per gallon for bio-diesel), and the reliance on foreign producers of biofuels, the EPA persists in a misguided effort to push ethanol production standards which exceed what is known as the “blendwall” or the amount of ethanol that can currently be blended into the domestic gasoline supply.

These overly aggressive mandates force our nation’s oil refiners to purchase compliant fuel from foreign companies to achieve Renewable Fuel Standard compliance increasing our national trade deficit.

To put this in even simpler terms, the EPA is forcing U.S. companies to buy foreign produced bio-mass fuels in order to meet an artificial government created quota, and ethanol isn’t even good for the environment.

President Trump has been at the forefront of cutting absurd and harmful regulations and has doubled down on this effort as our nation enters into an economic recovery phase after the devastating job losses due to the shutdowns caused by the reaction to the Chinese-originated virus.

In a May 19, 2020 Cabinet meeting the President said, “With millions of Americans forced out of work by the virus, it’s more important than ever to remove burdens that destroy American jobs.”

He continued by instructing his Cabinet officials to use emergency authority to speed up regulation cuts or move forward with “new rules that will create jobs and prosperity and get rid of unnecessary rules and regulations.”

These are pretty clear instructions directly from the President to his Cabinet Secretaries, including EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

Right now, due to the COVID-19 economic downturn, many U.S. oil producers have turned off the spigot for the foreseeable future due to oil price instability, yet, domestic oil refiners are having to not only cut the amount of oil-based fuel used in gasoline to meet RFS rules but pay foreign refiners to import more fuel partially made from food.

What’s more, the virus crisis has caused the United Nations to estimate that 42 million to 66 million more children worldwide could fall into extreme poverty, noting that in 2019 some 386 million children were already in extreme poverty.  And yet, somehow the regulators at the EPA continue to insist that America’s cars burn food rather than fuel, ensuring that acres upon acres of corn and soybeans which could have been exported to feed those who through no fault of their own find themselves in danger of starvation.

Only in Washington, D.C. could people charged with protecting the environment think that it is a good idea to mandate a product that hurts the environment, costs more money, and has to be imported, while shifting food production away from feeding starving people. It is enough to make you cry.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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