EPA Dodges Responsibility on Ethanol

The EPA is mandated by law to analyze the impacts of biofuels and report to Congress every three years, but its inspector general acknowledged that the agency has failed to complete such a report since 2011. A Denver Post editorial lists several negative impacts of using ethanol made from corn in fuel, which is the likely reason the required reports haven’t been filed. Mandating ethanol in fuel hasn’t reduced oil imports or improved air quality; two reasons given for imposing its use.

The list of negatives about ethanol is extensive. Farmers jumped on the corn for ethanol bandwagon by plowing up 6.5 million acres of conservation land in the process of planting an additional 19 million acres of corn. Massive amounts of water have been used to irrigate the larger fields of corn and more water is required to process the corn into ethanol. Fuel efficiency is less for gasoline mixed with ethanol. The higher prices for corn naturally resulted in higher prices for food. Top that off with the “…growing evidence that the mandate reduces greenhouse gas emissions much less than originally forecast, if indeed at all.”

Just guessing, but maybe the EPA doesn’t want to submit the required report because they can’t think of anything positive to say. Is it possible they’re working to protect a political agenda and not to protect the environment?

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