Too much ethanol is a bad thing for Illinois’s fuel supply

Categorized in: E15, Illinois

Another really good commentary piece by Timothy Benson of The Heartland Institute in Arlington Heights surfaced recently, this one in Investor’s Business Daily. Roundheads Against King Corn: Why the Renewable Fuel Standard Deserves to Die details how too much ethanol in our fuel supply – like the E15 blend – could hurt everyone from drivers to farmers.

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.


Stop Indiana Ethanol Bill

Categorized in: E15, Indiana, National

Once again, a bill has been introduced in the Indiana legislature that would encourage more ethanol in our fuel supply than is good for most drivers and consumers. We need your help to stop it.

Tell Your Representative to VOTE NO on HB 1277.

HB 1277 would promote the use of E15 or fuels with even higher levels of ethanol. This kind of misguided plan ignores the reams of evidence that show that too much ethanol is potentially bad for family budgets, the economy, and it could harm the engines of millions of cars on the road today – including yours.

Indiana Energy Citizens helped stop last year’s legislation by speaking out to lawmakers in Indianapolis, telling them to stand up against a similar bill. We need to do the same thing now.

Will you send a letter to your representative today?

EPA Pushes Damaging Ethanol Mandate

Categorized in: E15, Michigan, RFS

Do you own a car built before 2012? Maybe even a Michigan-built classic?

If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalizes its proposed increase of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), that could mean bad news for you and your car. Car owners—especially of models built in 2011 or earlier—could face…

  • The prospect of voiding your car’s warranty.
  • Increased fuel costs and decreased fuel efficiency.
  • Damage to the car’s fuel system.
  • A long walk home.

The EPA’s new, higher RFS could force gas refiners to break the marginally safe limit of 10 percent ethanol (E10) in American fuel. The EPA is ratcheting up its requirement toward E15, even though not a single auto manufacturer recommends using E15 in cars made in 2011 or earlier, and most do not even recommend the use of E15 for 2016 models.

First enacted just over a decade ago, the RFS has been ineffective and is now outdated as well. It was enacted with the expectation that oil and natural gas supplies would dwindle. In fact, supplies are 63 percent higher than what was predicted in 2007. Projected advances in biofuel technologies have not been achieved—and there is very little consumer demand for higher blends of ethanol.

Ultimately, the RFS is a failed policy that should be repealed or significantly reformed.

We need to urge Congress and the EPA to take action to fix or end the RFS. The ethanol mandate for next year will be finalized in the coming months. Look for updates on this issue.

Tired of the ethanol mandate? You will be.

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Categorized in: Colorado, E15, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, National, New England, Ohio, Pennsylvania, RFS, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin

It’s summer time. That means time to cut lawns, trim trees, and go boating. But we all know that ethanol can turn summer fun into summer pain by harming small engines.

Tell the EPA it needs to stop the ethanol mandate.

Thanks to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal government is forcing Americans to buy fuel with ethanol in it. Soon, this law could mandate that 18.8 billion gallons of biofuel be blended into America’s fuel. High-ethanol gasoline can ruin engines and make it more difficult to enjoy the summer.

It’s time for the EPA to do the right thing. Send them the message that you are tired of the ethanol mandate and that you don’t want more ethanol in our fuel!

You should be relaxing this summer, not worrying about whether your lawn mower will start.

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The Ethanol Mandate and the Election

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Categorized in: E15, Florida, RFS, Vote4Energy

This election year, candidates are making their views known to voters. One question Energy Citizens should ask the men and women running for office is where they stand on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The RFS mandates that ethanol be blended into our fuel supply. As time goes by, this ethanol mandate grows increasingly more unpopular. A great editorial in the Ft. Myers News Press discusses why:

[T]he idea of large quantities of fuel coming from useless vegetation has been exposed as fantasy.

Yet the folly continues. About 90 million acres — roughly equal to Iowa, Indiana and New York combined — have been devoted to growing the corn used in ethanol. That means consumers pay more at the pump, and more at the grocery store, because so much land has been taken out of food production.

Ideally, the candidates would commit to phasing out the fuels standard, if not now, at least by 2022…A heavy-handed Washington mandate makes no sense. It is bad for consumers, bad for the environment, and bad for Americans’ confidence in their political system.

Congress and the president have the power to end this misguided program. That is why it is so important that you know the candidates’ stance on the ethanol mandate when you vote this year.

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Dump the Ethanol Mandate

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Categorized in: E15, RFS, Virginia

Will Congress ever listen to the Americans who are united in opposition to the ethanol mandate? There are numerous groups working together to end the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the law that mandates the use of biofuels. Whether it is advocates upset at ethanol’s impact on food prices or classic car enthusiasts who want to protect their engine from higher ethanol blend’s damaging properties, many Americans want to see the RFS disappear.

An editorial in the Lakewood Ledger sums up some of the evidence on why the ethanol mandate has been counterproductive to our nation:

Reports from the National Academy of Sciences, the United Nations and the Environmental Working Group found that corn ethanol may actually have higher emissions than petroleum-based gasoline. And that doesn’t even account for the fossil fuels that go into raising, harvesting and shipping ethanol to market.

Finally, there is the American taxpayer and consumer to consider: The industry has received tens of billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks since the 1980s. Meanwhile, since 40 percent of U.S. corn goes into biofuels, Americans pay an estimated $40 billion a year more at the grocery store.

The RFS folly has been going on for far too long. This wasteful program harms the environment and hurts consumers. In 2016, Congress should make it a priority to repeal the RFS.

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North Carolina Members of Congress speak out on RFS ethanol standards

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Categorized in: E15, North Carolina, RFS

A total of eight North Carolina U.S. House members were among the 185 signers, both Republican and Democrat, of a letter to the EPA asking that 2016 Renewable Fuel Standard ethanol limits be kept below 10 percent.

In a recent editorial focused on the widespread opposition to irresponsible RFS ethanol mandates now being shown by GOP presidential candidates, Marita Noon wrote:

Most vehicles on the road today can withstand E10, a gasoline blend containing up to 10 percent ethanol, but the EPA has granted a “partial waiver” for the sale of 15 percent blends. AAA advises owners of non-flex-fuel vehicles to avoid E15, warning that manufacturers will void their warranties. Although the EPA maintains that 2001 model-year and newer vehicles can safely use E15, studies by the prestigious Coordinating Research Council found that E15 caused engine damage to some of the EPA-approved vehicles, leading to leaks [in engine cylinders] and increased emissions.

Energy Citizens has been working to rein in EPA ethanol and biofuel mandates for quite a while. Check out what API has to say about the RFS and tell President Obama to let the EPA know they need to fix the RFS!


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The Ethanol Mandate Hurts Florida

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Categorized in: E15, Florida

Want some ethanol with that gasoline?

If you’re like most Americans, the answer to that question is “no.” Unfortunately, the federal government’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) gives you little choice in the matter.

That’s something Ned Bowman, executive director of the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, wants to change. Energy Citizens should check out his recent op-ed where he discusses the problems with the RFS:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits the use of Ethanol-15 (E15) in conventional vehicles built prior to 2001 model year as well as all motorcycles, school buses and delivery trucks. The DOE also prohibits the use of E15 in small engines such as those found in boats and other off-road vehicles and in equipment like chainsaws and lawn mowers due to the risk of ruining the engines.

Florida has the second highest employment rate in the nation of landscapers and groundskeepers, whose equipment cannot run on or be safely stored with ethanol-blended gasoline. More than 986,000 boats are registered in Florida and those are also at risk of engines being destroyed if Congress continues to support the federal ethanol mandate and allows for its aggressive expansion.

Bowman points out that although states are taking action to help consumers, it’s now time for the federal government to act:

Florida was the first state to recognize the ills of ethanol when it repealed the Florida Renewable Fuel Standard Act in 2013. Recently, lawmakers in Hawaii followed Florida’s lead by repealing their state mandate that required a certain percentage of ethanol be blended into all fuel.

Our state’s foresight has not had an impact in Washington, D.C., thus far and we need candidates like Marco Rubio and potential candidate Jeb Bush to go on the record to reform this policy.

The ethanol mandate has caused enough damage. Congress should listen to the diverse coalition of environmentalists, hunger advocates, restaurant owners, and Americans like you who want to see the Renewable Fuel Standard repealed.

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Trib tool man explains the problems with ethanol and small engines

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Categorized in: E15, Illinois, RFS

Tim Carter, a contributor to the Chicago Tribune, recently explained why ethanol in gasoline is hard on small engines. He describes the corrosion and other harmful effects ethanol can cause in a column, Ethanol Causes problems for small-engine tools. This quote is particularly insightful:

Small engine repair shops love ethanol because it provides them with a steady stream of business. But if you get one of these shop owners to open up with you, he’ll probably tell you he doesn’t use that gasoline in his own small engines.

High ethanol blend fuel doesn’t always do car engines much good either. Yet the EPA continues to mandate greater amounts of ethanol to be blended into our fuel supply. In a statement urging the EPA to require no more than 9.7 percent ethanol content in gasoline, API president Jack Gerard said:

Consumers’ interest should come ahead of ethanol interests. EPA assumes growing demand for high-ethanol fuel blends that are not compatible with most cars on the road today, potentially putting American consumers, their vehicles and our economy at risk.

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Another Reason to End the Ethanol Mandate

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Categorized in: E15, Minnesota, RFS

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced Renewable Fuel Standard mandates that could increase the presence of E15 fuel throughout the country. As the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, one company that makes boat motors is alarmed by this action:

This week, Mercury Marine objected to a recent announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency of its proposed annual Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates, which appears to set in motion a broader marketplace presence of E15.

“Providing consumers with an option to use E15 in their marine engines is harmful and poses a safety hazard,” said Lee Gordon of Mercury Marine. “We will continue to remind our customers that safety should be the number one priority out on the water, and giving boaters the option of using E15 without properly educating them on the safety hazards is irresponsible. We applaud the NMMA and others who continue to fight against the expansion and promotion of E15.”

Ethanol in fuel poses problems for marine motors, as the article explains, but E15 fuel can be harmful for many other vehicles, too. And because of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, consumers will have to be very careful about what they put in their tanks.

This is yet another reason why Congress needs to repeal the RFS.

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