Francis Rooney: Time to End Renewable Fuel Standard Mandate, Cut Down on Ethanol

A Florida congressman is leading the charge on Capitol Hill to end the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandate and cut down on ethanol.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., unveiled the “Eliminating the RFS and Its Destructive Outcomes Act” which would repeal the RFS mandate.

On Wednesday, Rooney weighed in on why he had introduced the proposal.

“Since the RFS was created in 2005 there have been severe unintended consequences,” Rooney said. “Ethanol-based fuels decrease fuel efficiency by approximately 3 percent, and increase fuel prices for American consumers. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that due to the RFS, in 2017 there was a price hike for gasoline between $.13 and $.26 per gallon.

“For years the RFS has wreaked havoc on boat engines and other small engines which are vital to the Florida economy,” Rooney added. “Recently, the EPA finalized a rule allowing for the year-round sale of E15 (gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol), which will cause even more destruction to marine vessels across the state and the country.”

Rooney offered his take on ethanol and how it impacts cars across the nation and the environment.

“Ethanol-based fuels defeat the purpose of their stated environmental goals since their production and consumption release more carbon emissions than conventional petroleum fuels. Corn production overall has risen since the RFS was mandated and has led to the increased use of nitrogen-based fertilizer across the United States.  Studies are showing that the RFS is causing environmental harm and polluting waterways,” Rooney said.

“Through the RFS, the government created and subsidized a false market for ethanol fuels that is hurting Americans. The free market must be returned and this mandate must be repealed,” Rooney added.

Rooney rounded up seven cosponsors–all on the GOP side of the aisle and none from the Sunshine State. The bill was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee last week. So far, there is no companion bill over in the U.S. Senate.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

7 COMMENTS

  1. We can know with our very own eye balls that ethanol reduces fuel prices.

    Today on the NYMEX the price of ethanol traded at $1.58/gallon.

    An unusable sub grade of gasoline(RBOB) traded at $1.92/gallon.

    To raise RBOB to a usable grade would cost even more per gallon much like premium gasoline costs more than regular plus it would become more toxic and carcinogenic from the volatile and corrosive aromatics added to raise octane such as BTEX(benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene).

    Unless you simply add clean 10% ethanol in which case it would become obviously cheaper per gallon and less toxic.

  2. The common gasoline of Brazil contains a minimum of 27.5% ethanol. They have the very same boat engines and small engines we have.

    It has worked out so well and for so long that Argentina and Paraguay have also gone to 27% ethanol.

    Here is a familiar small engine sold in Brazil and note on the sticker where else this engine is sold.

    https://www.honda.com.br/produtos-de-forca/gx120

    Mercury Marine in a webinar in 2011 stated that after a transition, E10 may be the superior fuel to E0.

  3. The US used more total fertilizer in 1980 before ethanol than after with record ethanol production as these charts clearly show:

    http://www.earth-policy.org/images/uploads/graphs_tables/highlights43_top_3.PNG
    https://www.tfi.org/sites/default/files/images/fertilizer_chart_data_13_-_may_3_2016_-_ml.jpg

    Nitrogen use specifically rose slightly but that rise came from crops other than corn. Corn nitrogen use has remained flat since 1980 before ethanol as this chart clearly shows:

    https://www.motherjones.com/files/nitrogen-use-chart2.jpeg

    Believe it or not, the corn belt grew more corn acres in 1980 before ethanol than they do today with record ethanol production and ethanol plants everywhere.

    2018 Iowa 13,200,000 acres of corn with record ethanol production
    1980 Iowa 14,000,000 acres of corn before ethanol

    2018 Illinois 11,000,000 acres of corn with record ethanol production
    1980 Illinois 11,600,000 acres of corn before ethanol

    2018 Indiana 5,350,000 acres of corn with record ethanol production
    1980 Indiana 6,450,000 acres of corn before ethanol

    https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/results/229C6DAD-EFDE-3021-ABDA-BD1F0ACE0269

    Corn ethanol is a value added product of feed production which uses a waste stream from it.

    Corn has been in a steady trend line of production growth with acres more or less flat since records have been kept at the USDA:

    See chart, ethanol does not show up even as a blip:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/91d7502e043c7c976bdbac4d3953fb82813e0ab4ef4723a5d70e734514dcac9c.jpg

  4. About time someone in government realized the harmful effects of RFS. The ethanol also damages engines. Repeal it and quickly.

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