Ethanol Fraud and Why You Pay More at the Pump
By LIZ PEEK
The Fiscal Times
April 3, 2013
Why in the world is the government still forcing ethanol down the gas tanks of American consumers? Ethanol was meant to help clean up the air and to keep gasoline prices in check. It does neither. Instead, it degrades the environment and is currently boosting gas prices. Talk about a teachable moment. No program could better explain why so many Americans oppose Big Government.
Most Americans probably assume that corn-based ethanol is “green” – it is not. Numerous studies have shown that ethanol use does not significantly lower emissions, but instead actually harms the environment. That conclusion has led numerous green groups to abandon their earlier support for ethanol.
In 2011, Greenpeace and the Clean Air Task Force (in conjunction with several business and farm organizations) requested hearings on the Renewable Fuel Standard that mandated ethanol use. In a letter to Senators Inhofe and Boxer, they cite a study by The National Academy of Sciences, which found “that using corn ethanol in engine fuel is increasing air pollutants, exacerbating global warming, degrading water sources, and damaging biodiversity.”
Meanwhile, instead of helping to drive down gasoline prices, the mandate is doing exactly the reverse. Crude prices today of $96 a barrel (WTI) are 8.5 percent below year-ago levels, and demand for gasoline has dwindled steadily since 2007 – both factors which should be pressing prices lower. But, because refiners are struggling to comply with ethanol rules built for a different age, gasoline prices are stuck at sky-high levels.
Another problem with government-mandated ethanolis that the shift from food production to the variety of corn used for ethanol has diminished food supply, driving up food prices. Ethanol corn is a special variety that is not suitable for use as food.
This is the kind of deadly stupidity that happens when government puts its money and muscle behind ill-conceived Enviro-Fads and -Hypes!