Is the Renewable Fuel Standard working for America?

Uploaded by smarterfuels on 14.01.2013

In 2007, Congress passed an expanded Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, which mandates that
large quantities of biofuels made from corn and other biomassóbe blended into the fuel
supply each year.
Lawmakers promised that this policy of turning food and plants into fuel would be a silver
bullet for Americans energy challenges, making us more energy secure and more environmentally
Sound too good to be true? It is. Seven years later, the RFS has not only failed to achieve
its stated objectives, it's also hurting every American at the grocery store and the
gas station.
Let's take a look at the "success" of the RFS so far:
What does Energy security look like under the RFS? Not much. Ethanol distorts energy
markets, and the government's own Energy Information Administration projects that the
U.S. will still rely on oil and natural gas products for more than half of its energy
needs for decades to come.
Ethanol could also increase fuel costs. Experts have said that RFS mandates are likely to
increase ethanol prices by 18.8 percent, raising the cost of gasoline, which is required to
be blended with ethanol. In fact, fuel that is up to 85 percent ethanol is MORE expensive
than pure gasoline, even with today's petroleum prices and biodiesel costs more than $1.50
more per gallon to produce.
Restricting Americans' access to affordable fuel is a strange approach to energy security,
don't you think?

Well, that's a shame. But at least weíre lowering emissions, right? Wrong.
In order to produce enough biofuel to power the more than 250 million registered vehicles
in America, an unprecedented amount of land must be cultivated. Since 2005, we have more
than doubled the amount of land used for biofuels currently using 8.5% of all U.S. farmland, a number
that could double again, in the next ten years. So, where are we getting this land from? The
clearing of natural forests and grasslands to make room for corn. Researchers have found
that this deforestation actually doubles greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years.

So the RFS is not only failing to meet its intended goals, itís actually working against
But the lunacy doesnít stop thereóthe RFS raises costs for every family in America.
During the worst drought the United States has seen since 1956, the mandate diverts 40%
of Americaís corn crop away from food and animal feed to ethanol production for fuel.
Skyrocketing animal feed costs have put a strain on livestock farmers and pushed food
prices higher and higher. Put simply, more ethanol = less food = higher prices.
Since the RFS passed in 2005, the price of corn increased by more than 200%. Cereal and
bakery product prices have increased almost 77%, meat, poultry, fish and egg prices have
increased 78%. Vegetable oil and fats like butter, are up more than 444%.
In short, breakfast just isn't what is used to be.

Neither is what you put in your gas tank. Beyond making gasoline more expensive, ethanol
is also 33% less efficient than traditional gasoline. The lower fuel economy of ethanol/gasoline
blends means Americans will spend a lot more time and money at the pump.
The Renewable Fuel Standard has failed to meet its goals over five years. Instead, itís
costing Americansí money, hurting the environment and failing to limit our dependence on foreign
energy sources.
So ask yourself a question: Why is this still the law of the land?
Call on lawmakers to reform the failed Renewable Fuel Standard and pledge your support for
a smarter way forward... a smarter fuel future.