As you would expect, not everyone is excited about the EPA's proposal last week to reduce the amount of ethanol mix in gas to 15.21 billion gallons for next year, a number experts say is 14 percent lower than the level Congress originally envisioned. Legislators like Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and corn industry groups like the Advanced Ethanol Council have quickly denounced the proposal as an “unnecessary reduction” in the mandate.
“The relentless campaign to discredit ethanol undermines America’s longstanding efforts to diversify its energy landscape, fuel the economy and strengthen national security,” Grassley said Friday in a news release. “The predictable efforts to smear ethanol’s reputation ignore the renewable fuel’s valuable contributions to clean energy, rural development, job creation and U.S. energy independence.”
But armed with compelling evidence that the ethanol mandate has driven up corn prices, and therefore food prices, may industry experts are not expecting the EPA to change the proposal after the 60-day comment period, especially since energy analysts, including the Department of Energy, note that the U.S. shale oil boom has already made the nation a petroleum product exporter and is expected to end American dependence on foreign oil within a few years.
“In the years between when Congress created that program and today, production of renewable fuels has grown rapidly,” Janet McCabe, acting EPA assistant administrator, wrote in an agency blog. “But at the same time, fuel economy improvements and other factors have pushed gasoline consumption far lower than what was expected.” To read more, click HERE.