Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Light at the End of the Ethanol Tunnel?

Federal environmental regulators are expected to significantly reduce their biofuel blending mandates for next year, marking a historic retreat from an ambitious 2007 law, according to industry and trade sources.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a proposal that would set next year's target for use of renewable fuels at 15.21 billion gallons, less than the 18.15-billion gallon 2014 target established in the law, according to the sources, who said the new figures have circulated in Washington policy circles over the past week.

At 15.21 billion gallons, the proposal would leave room only for some 13 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol to be blended into the nation's gasoline supply - down from 13.8 billion this year and 14.4 billion required by law for 2014.
Alcohol from corn as vehicle fuel is a bipartisan unconscionably stupid idea.  It doesn't save fossil fuel use, it doesn't prevent CO2 emissions, it does raise fuel costs, and and does raise food prices.  All it does is raise corn prices and and make farmers and traders happy. Bending to the reality that we can't possibly produce enough to meet the mandates is a very small, but important step forward.

Not surprisingly, the groups standing to benefit from the mandates were unhappy.
Already, some ethanol groups are threatening to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which administers the fuel blending program, if it lowers its volume target.

"We will pursue every option," said Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, which represents the ethanol industry in Washington, D.C. Lowering the target to such volumes is illegal, he said.
 Since when has that stopped this administration?

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