Issue 107 – Ethanol Justification Illusionary?
Introduction…”The closest thing to earthy eternal life is a government program,” President Ronald Reagan. Maybe ethanol and biofuel mandates are included in his statement. Those who benefit from a government subsidy, often giving millions to political campaigns, and vocally defend it. While those who are apposed are usually disorganized and busy with everyday life.
It was a noble cause…The Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS” created in 2005 and expanded in 2007, by the Energy Independence and Security Act was passed and expanded. The laws require refiners to blend increasing amounts of ethanol into gasoline and expected the private sector to produce a growing amount of “cellulosic” biofuels and “advanced” biofuels.
The promise then for biofuels were scary exaggertions, which now have become illusions.
The promises unfulfilled…The justification for this government give away, were told is that it would reduce pollution. However, cars are already 95% cleaner than they were in 1970, so there is no real befit here.
America was deleting its petroleum reserves and the RFS would reduce oil imports from unfriendly nations. But, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has given the U.S. at least a century of new reserves. Net imports of petroleum averaged 4.9 MMb/d, the equivalent of 25% of total U.S. petroleum consumption in 2016, up slightly from 24% in 2015, which was the lowest level since 1970.
Renewable fuels would prevent dangerous manmade climate change, we wer also told. Contrary to the hysteria, computer models and Al Gore’s new movie, humanity and the planet are not experiencing unusual or unprecedented climate changes. Inconvenient to Mr. Gore’s story, not a single category 3-5 hit U.S. mainland since October 2–5. That’s a record 11 years and 10 months.
To get a far more complete, facutal, and honest climate science, see the Climate Hustle documentary instead.
To produce ethanol, the United States has devoted 40 million acres or 40% of its corn crop. In addition it uses billions of gallons of water to irate corn fields, plus giant amounts of fertilizer, pesticides, and fossil fuels to its production.
In conclusion… the two big promises of RFS were the reduction of fossil fuel usage and reduction of pollution have not materialized by burning corn in our cars. Autos that burn 95% cleaner and the increased petroleum production in part due the frackers have solved those problems. Time to push the lobbyists aside to do what is best for America and repeal the Renewal Fuel Standards.
Sources: “Biofuel justifications are illusionary,” What’s Up With That, 30 July 2017; “Oil: Crude And Petroleum Products Explained.” US Energy Information Administration, 8 May 2017