Commentary: Bad news on biofuels

Commentary: Bad news on biofuels

October 2, 2014

"The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it remains “committed to biofuels” and that its goal is to put the renewable fuels program “on a path that supports continued growth.”

Let me translate that into English: “We’re cutting back on the ethanol mandate, mainly because of pressure from the oil industry, but we’ll pretend that the program is still full speed ahead because we don’t need any backlash from ethanol investors.”

The proposed cuts to the Renewable Fuel Standard from 18.15 billion gallons of biofuels to 15.21 billion gallons in 2014 represent a win for the oil industry, which has made no secret of its intention to force repeal of the biofuel mandate. Of course, the industry’s argument that adding 10% ethanol to motor vehicle fuels places “a crippling financial burden on refiners” is a crock. But like the ethanol industry, they’re simply protecting their interests.

The American Petroleum Institute urged the Obama administration to finalize the 2014 rule as quickly as possible, warning that delays could “harm consumers” and make it “harder to produce the fuels Americans need.”


This battle began in November 2013, when EPA officials issued a draft rule significantly reducing federal requirements for use of ethanol and biodiesel in U.S. fuel supplies. Predictably, the biofuel industry warned that unless EPA reversed course, disaster would ensue."


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Photograph from Farmer's Guardian