The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)—also known as the ethanol mandate—was passed by Congress in 2005 and expanded in 2007. Regardless of market conditions, it required ever-increasing quantities of biofuel be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply—though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does have the flexibility to make some adjustments based on conditions, such as availability and infrastructure.
Terry Branstad was first elected governor of Iowa in 1982. His six terms in office have made him the longest serving governor in American history and the most influential politician in the state. He rarely takes sides in the Republican caucuses and hasn’t endorsed a primary presidential candidate since 1996.
The purpose of any economic exchange is to better one’s position, whether a person buys or sells something for money or barters for something else. This is the essence of free market capitalism, where all economic transactions are voluntary because they are of mutual benefit. They are all “win-win” situations in the minds of the participants.
Early in his campaign, now top-tier Republican presidential candidate, Ben Carson, supported ethanol—a position for which I called him out. It has long been thought, that to win in Iowa, a candidate must support ethanol.
Quite a few GOP 2016 presidential candidates have responded “I am not a scientist” which may come back to haunt them in the future. This GOP response is unsatisfactory because political candidates should be aware of important issues. In particular about climate change; where the Democrat Party’s response is overturning our entire energy supply system by abandoning our abundant, inexpensive, and geographically distributed fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas. The U. S. is the most blessed nation on the planet with abundant fossil fuels.
Abengoa, a Spanish renewable energy company, is on the brink of failure. Few in the United States might care except for the fact the Obama administration showered Abengoa with more than $2.9 billion in federal grants and loan guarantees: If Abengoa goes belly up, taxpayers will be on the hook for a bankruptcy that makes Solyndra’s look small by comparison.
I would like to thank Crain’s Chicago Business for the opportunity to respond to the article published on September 10th: “Is U.S. commitment to renewable fuels waning?” Frankly, the article was either poorly researched or intellectually dishonest to an incredible degree. Contrary to the author’s claims, the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) has been a failure in almost every respect. Rather than mandating more ethanol be used, we should realize ethanol is a corncob pipedream, and do away with RFS, also known as the ethanol mandate, once and for all.
Donny Kendal and John Nothdurft host the third episode of the “In The Tank”, a weekly podcast that will feature interviews, debates, roundtable discussions, and stories and light hearted segments on a variety of topics on the latest news. The show will be available for download as a podcast every Friday.
It’s common for people to misunderstand or misconstrue the difference between acknowledging the failure of the ethanol mandate to deliver on its promises of materially increasing energy independence or lowering prices for consumers, and being “anti-ethanol.” It’s entirely possible to see advantages of using ethanol without believing it should be mandated, just as it is possible to see the advantages of having a health insurance policy without supporting Obamacare. All mandates have unintended consequences.
In this edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Paul Driessen from a Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and Heartland Institute research fellow Isaac Orr discuss the environmental and economic impacts of ethanol in the United States. The podcast sheds light on the empty promises of ethanol such as energy independence and environmental benefits.
Congress concocted the mandates over fears that US gasoline demand would rise forever and keep the United States dependent on foreign oil, as America’s supposedly limited reserves were depleted. The mandates currently require that we blend 15 billion gallons of ethanol with gasoline every year, and produce over a billion gallons of biodiesel. They hammer us consumers every time we fill our tanks.
Nearly 10 years have passed since the federal government imposed a national mandate requiring gasoline be blended with ethanol. At that time, President George W. Bush claimed the United States was addicted to oil and that biofuels, especially ethanol produced from corn, offered an important way to bring down gasoline prices while weaning the nation off of foreign sources of oil and supporting economic development in rural America.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, H. Sterling Burnett, managing editor of Environment & Climate News speaks with Merrill Matthews, Jr. Matthews, Resident Scholar at the Institute for Policy Innovation and a contributor at Forbes.com, also serves as Vice Chairman of the Texas Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Burnett and Matthews discuss the foolish policy decisions the Obama administration has undertaken on energy policy.
Early in the new millennium, oil prices began to rise and natural gas prices shot up. Doomsayers lacking an understanding of history and economics popped up, as they always do, to proclaim the end of cheap oil was nigh. “Peak oil” pundits ruled the airwaves and editorial pages.
In a previous post we pointed out that alternative energies (solar, wind, ethanol and other biofuels) bump up against implacable physical realities which no amount of government spending or research can overcome, and which are environmentally destructive despite propaganda to the contrary. Ethanol in gasoline, for example, according to EPA’s own data, increases key pollutants such as volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide by as much as 7 percent. Yet it was on the basis of phony scientific claims that ethanol would reduce pollution from automobile emissions that it use was mandated by the government.
They say politics makes strange bedfellows. In a perfect example, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are cosponsoring the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act,” to abolish the corn ethanol Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires that increasing volumes of this biofuel be blended into gasoline. Let’s hope it passes, as an amendment or stand-alone bill.
Climate Alarmists turn back the Clock
Three centuries ago, the world ran on green power. Wood was used for heating and cooking, charcoal for smelting and smithing, wind or water-power for pumps mills and ships, and whale oil or tallow for lamps. People and soldiers walked or rode horses, and millions of horses and oxen pulled ploughs, wagons, coaches and artillery.
The obvious successes of past technologies have made politicians and environmentalists eager to be in the forefront of promoting futuristic schemes for their goals. Everyone wants to be on the side of the next Great Idea. All too often these futuristic fantasies are sold to a gullible public, as well as fellow politicians and the news media, with impressive but scientifically-flawed arguments that bump up against harsh physical realities that are immutable.