The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was pushed through under the Bush 43 administration at a time when rising gas prices and global warming were both weighing heavily on the minds of the public.
Ethanol blending was touted as a way to fight both of those concerns.
So how has it worked out? According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) it hasn’t done much on either score. The net effect on gas prices has been basically a wash and the changes have had only a negligible effect on emissions. (Bloomberg)
A federal program requiring the use of corn-based ethanol and biodiesel in gasoline supplies hasn’t lowered pump prices or significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Gasoline prices outside of the corn-rich Midwest likely rose by a few pennies a gallon at the pump because of the Renewable Fuel Standard, while falling slightly in areas with ethanol plants, the GAO said in a report posted online Monday. The pump price effects likely diminished over time. Refiners benefited from installing equipment for the fuel-blending requirement “that, over time, reduced refining costs for gasoline,” according to the report.
In addition, the GAO found that “most of the experts we interviewed generally agreed that to date the RFS has likely had a limited effect, if any, on greenhouse gas emissions.” That’s due to the continued reliance on corn-based ethanol, instead of more advanced cellulosic biofuels that use agricultural waste but haven’t shown a great deal of commercial viability.
So let’s just see how the soothsayers have done.
The Great Lakes are running dry except that now they are flooding.
The glaciers in Glacier National park are evaporating except now they are growing.
The Polar Bear is going extinct except there are more bears than ever now.
Al Gore still has a house by the seashore and Leonardo Di Caprio jets to global warming conventions.