Sometimes big government becomes so big that even good conservatives find themselves unwittingly advocating expansions of government in response to its failures. That’s precisely what U. S. Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) is doing with the new “solution” he has offered to the egregious humanitarian and economic scandal the ethanol mandate, officially known at the Renewable Fuels Standard or RFS, has become.
In the wake of rising food and feedstock prices caused by corn-based ethanol, Olson and several other members of Congress think the answer is to expand the RFS to include ethanol derived from natural gas. The result would be a spike in natural gas prices, hurting manufacturers and consumers.
The current ethanol mandate is a disaster and serves as a poster child of what happens when government attempts to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. It has already given us the embarrassment of EPA mandates for cellulosic biofuels that don’t even exist, fraudulent trading of fake renewable credits, and approval of fuels with 15 percent ethanol that can damage engines (and which car warranties won’t cover). We are It’s now approaching a so-called “blend wall” where it will be physically impossible to blend the ever-increasing required volumes of renewable fuels into the total U.S. fuel supply.
The biggest scandal is the impact the RFS has had on the food supply. Last year we reached a new high of 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop being burned as ethanol, which combined with drought conditions to badly squeeze livestock and poultry producers.
Two Democratic governors – Bev Purdue of North Carolina and Mike Beebe of Arkansas – officially petitioned the EPA to grant a waiver from the RFS. They were joined by a bipartisan group of 26 senators and 156 House members.
Read more at BexterBulletin.com. By Phil Kerpen.
Photo credit: tamburix (Creative Commons)