The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was supposedly created to help address environmental concerns. However its negative impacts on the American people and its unrealistic mandates produce more damaging effects than benefits.
Damaging Cars: Ethanol blends of more than 10% potentially could damage millions of vehicles and void engine warranties. Many cars, especially ones created before this mandate weren’t designed to accommodate ethanol blends, especially ones over 10%.
Increased Food Cost: The RFS ultimately takes away crops that would normally be used for food. This can cause the price of food and consumer goods to increase.
Hurting Small Business: An ethanol mandate can lead to overhead and delivery cost increases. This would cause a negative chain reaction leaving less money to be reinvested, resulting in small businesses struggling to find the funds to make new hires or even meet payrolls.
With anti-pipeline protests much in the news lately, Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, recently published a guest op-ed that points out how self-proclaimed environmentalists who oppose oil and gas pipelines as part of their “keep it in the ground” strategy may very well be doing more ecological harm than good.
“The Anti-Pipeline Anti-Environmentalists” explains how plans to completely switch to so-called “clean energy” instead of oil and natural gas could wreak land use havoc:
Climate activists are now hoping to block oil and gas pipeline projects across the country due to their claim that we must keep all hydrocarbons in the ground to avert catastrophic climate change. Those same activists repeatedly claim we don’t need fossil fuels because we can rely solely onwind and solar energy.
But while they obsess over our carbon footprint, climate activists don’t give a fig about the land-use footprint of renewables. Indeed, the dirty truth about “clean” energy is that it requires shocking amounts of land. In a recent report for the Manhattan Institute, I show that using wind and solar energy to reduce domestic carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050 (80 by 50) will require covering about 287,700 square miles of territory — an area about the size of Texas and West Virginia combined.
Energy Citizens have been making similar points for years. Selectively choosing one energy resource over another never works. Our lifestyles depend on a commonsense mix of all forms of energy, the “all of the above” energy strategy that should be the goal of U.S. energy policies.
It’s up to us to keep reminding decision-makers in state and federal government to support energy policies – such as the reasonable use of pipelines – that will supply us with the energy we need.
Pipelines bring affordable, clean energy. That’s the simple message that Energy Citizens need to tell our fellow Floridians.
There are plans to build new pipelines in our state. Unfortunately, a committed band of activists are trying to stop this investment in Florida’s energy infrastructure. We can’t afford to let extremists stand in the way of these much-needed projects.
Current natural gas pipeline infrastructure in Florida isn’t adequate to meet increased demand for natural gas. This is why Florida Power & Light (FPL) and Duke Energy back the Sabal Trail pipeline.
Their goal is to lower emissions, provide clean natural gas-fueled power plants and decrease customer bills. As one of the largest projects under construction in the industry, both FPL and Duke Energy will receive stable, reliable and low-cost natural gas supply from Sabal Trail.
FPL needs Sabal Trail to provide fuel for its natural gas-fueled power plants. The company has shut down several oil- and coal-fueled power plants and invested in new, highly efficient clean energy centers, saving its customers billions in fuel costs while reducing carbon emissions.
While Ms. Grover is talking about the Sabal Trail project, she could really be talking about any new pipeline. America is in the midst of an energy renaissance, and while we are currently the world’s top producer of natural gas, we need more infrastructures to maintain the US role as an energy superpower. Specific to Floridians, local consumers can’t take advantage of the benefits that America’s abundant natural gas will bring unless we expand the state’s energy infrastructure.
Let’s make sure that Energy Citizens get the word out about the importance of new pipelines this year.
It’s common knowledge that too much ethanol in gasoline could be bad for car and truck engines, and motor-driven tools and devices. But it could also be a drain on our economy. Benson lists some of the impacts of high-ethanol blends on Illinois, found in a study conducted by the Center for Regulatory Solutions:
For example, in The Heartland Institute’s home state of Illinois, CRS argues the RFS has led to unnecessarily high fuel costs totaling $5 billion through 2014, and CRS says the RFS will cost Illinois residents another $17 billion through 2024. These higher fuel costs will depress labor income by roughly $7 billion by 2024, spiking more than 7,000 potential new jobs per year and causing more than $12.1 billion in lost GDP. The RFS has also increased demand for corn used for ethanol production. Diverting corn to ethanol production means livestock farmers have had to spend more on feed for their livestock. In 2012 alone, Illinois livestock farmers spent $164 million more on feed than they would have without RFS in place.
Illinois drivers have reasons to be concerned about ethanol mandates. Cars could not only get poorer mileage but could also experience engine damage, damage that warranties may not cover because of the ethanol-laden fuel government policies force filling stations to carry.
Energy Citizens will stay on top of developing legislation that could put too much ethanol in the Illinois fuel supply. Keep checking your inbox and we will let you know when drivers need to speak out on potentially harmful policies.
Pipelines have been in the news a lot lately. While activists trying to shut down new pipeline projects make wild claims about their safety, the scientific facts prove the opposite.
To prevent leaks, state-of-the-art technology similar to a doctor’s ultrasound machine or MRI is used on the inside of the pipe to scan the walls for any potential problems. In 2012 alone, $2.1 billion was spent by liquid pipeline operators to evaluate, inspect and maintain their pipelines.
Liquid pipeline incidents are down 50% since 1999.
Corrosion as a cause of pipeline incidents is down 76% since 1999.
Lawmakers and regulators should not be misled by false claims about pipelines. The industry’s commitment to safety through best practices and with the use of modern technology allows companies to ensure that pipelines deliver energy products safely 99.99% of the time. They are also needed to ensure that consumers have access to clean, affordable energy in the years to come. In the debate over expanding our energy infrastructure and greater natural gas use, it’s vital that we keep politics aside and instead focus on the long-term benefits for our country that take the form of lower energy prices, greater job creation, and environmental benefits.
That figurative barrier is called the blend wall – the threshold beyond which the U.S. gasoline supply contains more than 10 percent ethanol. Oil industry and small government advocates point to the wall in criticizing the Renewable Fuel Standard, a decade-old law requiring an increasing volume of ethanol and other renewable liquids in the nation’s fuel supply.
Automakers say they can’t guarantee that any but a few of their engines will run properly on mixes of less than 90 percent gasoline, and many fuel suppliers say it’s difficult and expensive to comply with the federal mandate.
Renewable Fuel Standard biofuel mandates could cause a lot of problems, among them potential economic harm. Like the Chronicle, Energy Citizens believes the RFS needs to be fixed.
Energy Citizens should take a minute to check out the blog over at the Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. There is a great post that discusses the importance of fracking to our everyday lives:
America is at an energy crossroads. The fracking-enabled shale revolution is rapidly transforming the nation’s energy landscape, lowering prices for consumers and dramatically reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
Energy is everywhere, and if you stop for a moment to look around you, chances are you will see countless goods and services that are “Brought To You By Fracking.” We’re not just talking about gasoline for your car and electricity for your house—everything from health care and housing to hamburgers and hula hoops are impacted by the price and availability of energy, and oil and natural gas in particular. As a result, the practical impact if the “keep it in the ground” movement succeeds would hurt every American’s quality of life.
The blog goes on to discuss some of the things that are made possible by fracking – air travel, gasoline, air conditioning, and electricity. We may not realize just how important fracking is to our daily lives, but its influence is enormous.
We can’t let anti-energy activists succeed in their war on fracking. We have to speak out in defense of this safe, time-tested practice. The American energy revolution would not exist without it.
If we don’t understand how oil and natural gas get from the wellhead to the consumers or commercial users, we don’t understand energy. Energy infrastructure – pipelines, roads, bridges, rail lines, processing plants, storage facilities, etc. – enables us to maintain and even grow the lifestyle that we have today. Today, we need to devote just as much time to learning about – and advocating for – energy infrastructure as we do to fracking, offshore resource access, or any of the other major issues that surround U.S. energy security.
To most of us, pipelines are the first thing we imagine when we hear about energy infrastructure. They are critically important to moving both domestically produced and imported fuels that we use every day, and they are essential to transporting the oil and gas by-products that feed the U.S. manufacturing industry. In fact, our country has a robust network of energy pipelines that moves 14 billion barrels of crude oil, among other oil and gas-related products.
But don’t forget that rail cars move oil and liquefied natural gas too. So do trucks. And the processing facilities that prepare natural gas to be used and storage tanks that hold it in reserve for those winter days when we need more energy are all critical oil and gas infrastructure components as well.
Energy infrastructure is a big issue and an important one. This factsheet – Energy Infrastructure 101 – is a good place to start finding out about infrastructure and understanding why it is so important to our nation.