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.
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.
Governor McAuliffe and anti-energy agitators are pushing burdensome new regulations in the state legislature that are meant to stop Virginia energy development. They would add new layers of red tape and regulation, resulting in economic harm, lost jobs, and even higher energy costs.
We must oppose the loud voices of radical anti-energy activists who are pushing their agenda in Richmond. It’s critical that Virginia Energy Citizens stand up for local energy development.
We must oppose the loud voices of radical anti-energy activists who are pushing their agenda in Richmond. It’s critical that our industry workforce stand up for safe energy development here in Virginia.
It has been ten years since Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates the use of biofuels such as ethanol. Rep. Billy Long of Missouri has an excellent op-ed examining the ways this legislation failed to live up to expectations:
Despite their pure intentions, 2007 policymakers’ economic predictions have proven inaccurate and the overall program has fallen short. Concerns over gasoline usage decline have taken priority over those of inflated fuel demands, and innovations of new cellulosic biofuels has come more sluggishly than hoped. The Environmental Protection Agency has continuously adjusted the mandated fuel additive volumes downward in light of lower demands.
So while dependence on foreign oil sources declined as hoped, RFS cannot claim credit. Also, experts like those from the National Academy of Sciences, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Congressional Budget Office cannot conclude that renewable fuels have delivered on lessened greenhouse gases.
As Rep. Long points out, the RFS has not worked as predicted. In fact, its ethanol mandate could cause significant problems for consumers.
It is good to see growing bipartisan support in Congress to address these issues. One bill, HR 5180, would cap the amount of ethanol that must be blended into our fuel. This legislation is a good start to begin fixing this flawed mandate. Have you asked your member of Congress to support it?
Thanks to the EPA’s decision on the Renewable Fuel Standard, we could soon see fuel with ethanol blends over 10%. That could pose a lot of trouble for many consumers. As Bill Cochran reports in the Roanoke Times, boat owners are especially upset over this:
The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) has delivered 24,000 comments from recreational boaters to EPA headquarters in Washington urging the agency to stop adding more ethanol to the nation’s gasoline supply. Ten percent ethanol blends are common, and federal officials are considering 15 percent. Most new outboard engines are designed to operate on up to 10 percent ethanol. More than that can damage engines.
While the EPA is no longer taking comments on its ethanol decision, members of Congress have introduced legislation that would fix this problem. HR 5180 is supported by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. This bill would cap the amount of ethanol that must be blended into our fuel. Energy Citizens should make sure that every member of the Virginia congressional delegation supports this much-needed bill.
Increased production of U.S. oil and natural gas has added stability to world markets, exerting downward pressure on prices and reducing the influence of less-stable producing regions.
Heating and electricity costs are also down, providing breathing room in family budgets and giving a competitive edge to U.S. businesses, whose manufacturing costs are now 10 to 20 percent lower than those of many international competitors.
But we can’t just coast on our success. America’s status as a world energy superpower can either grow or wither based on specific policy choices.
As Gerard points out, for the energy revolution to continue, our nation needs to embrace policies that will further encourage oil and gas production. These include allowing oil and exploration off of Virginia’s coast, creating opportunities to build new pipelines and other energy infrastructure, reforming or ending the ethanol mandate, and not imposing burdensome new restrictions on hydraulic fracturing.
Pursuing these policies will ensure that American energy production remains strong for years to come. That’s good news for Virginians and everyone else in the United States.
H.R. 5180, the Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act, was introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6) at the beginning of 114th Congress. At a time when there seems to be so much division in Washington, it’s good to see Democrats and Republicans working together to fix the federal ethanol mandate.
H.R. 5180 would address some of the problems with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). When written, the RFS assumed that Americans would use an increasing amount of fuel every year. That’s why the law mandated that an increasing volume of ethanol must be blended into this fuel. However, gasoline consumption has gone down, and the law, as it exists now, mandates that an unworkable volume of ethanol be blended into fuel. If this law is not changed, we could see gasoline with an ethanol content above 10% being forced on consumers. Use of these higher ethanol blended gasolines could void the warranties of many vehicles because it could harm engines.
The ethanol mandate is operating outside of the confines of reality. Mixing greater amounts of ethanol into the fuel supply decreases fuel efficiency, sending motorists to the pump more frequently. It can also lead to costly trips to the repair shop for families, businesses, and farmers to fix the damage caused by higher ethanol blends to some vehicles and small engines, like lawn mowers. Forcing more ethanol to be blended into the fuel supply than consumers want, or that engines can safely handle, makes little sense.
H.R. 5180 will cap the volume of ethanol that must be blended into fuel. This is a commonsense fix to the flaws of the original RFS legislation.
Affordable energy is critically important to every Virginia household’s financial well-being. That’s why it’s vital that we stand up for expanding America’s energy infrastructure.
Without pipelines, tankers, trains, and other types of infrastructure, the energy we need could not reach us in our homes or businesses. The U.S. is now the top producer of petroleum in the world, but this production would come to a halt without an infrastructure to transport and store oil and natural gas.
How does this infrastructure benefit Virginians and every American? Check out our website. You’ll see how properly investing in energy infrastructure over the next 12 years will:
• Support over 1.1 million jobs • Produce $75 billion in labor income • Contribute $120 billion to the national economy every year • Increase government revenue by $27 billion
Let’s make sure that Energy Citizens in Virginia and around America show strong support for new pipelines and other energy infrastructure projects.