From: Noel Taylor
I’m writing to address two letters published in The Republic on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Mike Buis’ (Feb. 8) and an industry response (Feb 16). While the managers of the ethanol plants in Linden and Mt. Vernon are more precise in their comments, there are misperceptions shared in both letters. The truths are:
1) The RFS was established by those who believed that corn ethanol was necessary to our country to reduce our reliance on foreign oil. The U.S. is actually an overall energy exporter, a detail hidden only by free trade in which some companies import gas and oil and others export them. In other words, we do not need ethanol at all.
2) The RFS requires an ever-increasing ethanol/petroleum ratio at the pump, while no lawn mower, motorcycle, chain saw, jet ski or any other small engine is certified to accept those ratios, would have their warranties voided by them and are at risk of major damage from them.
3) The RFS drives environmentally irresponsible agricultural practices, ranging from expanded usage of marginal farmland to increased pollution from pesticides and herbicides.
4) The RFS contributes to increased hunger globally by diverting farm output into energy production, thereby increasing food costs and decreasing food availability.
5) The RFS lives on the back of a huge agricultural subsidy which requires our taxes to sustain because ethanol costs far more to produce than its own market value.
Petroleum is a renewable resource. We’ve known since World War II that it is generated by friction several miles deep within our planet and regularly migrates upward to replenish what we use. It has nothing to do with dead dinosaurs.
U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., states that House Resolution 1315, the RFS Reform act of 2017, “would replace the annual production requirements set within the RFS to a market-based approach, requiring the RFS to reflect annual production capacity and bar the introduction of fuel that contains greater than 10-volume-percent ethanol into the market.”
This would be a small step in the right direction.