Report: RFS Relies Too Much on Corn Ethanol

October 16, 2015 09:17 AM
Report: RFS Relies Too Much on Corn Ethanol

A study shows that the federal Renewable Fuel Standards program relies too much on corn ethanol.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the study, which was released by researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, also says the program hasn't delivered on promised economic and environmental benefits.

Researchers Daniel De La Torre Ugarte and Burton English say more than $50 billion in subsidies and mandates for corn ethanol since 2005 would have been more effectively directed toward other alternative fuels with more potential to reduce pollution.

Their research shows replacing corn ethanol with cellulosic biofuel would have provided $4.2 billion in net economic impact.

Many East Tennessee farmers have tested various other crops such as switchgrass as alternatives in collaboration with the University of Tennessee and local energy companies.

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Spell Check

Bobby Fontaine
Lorton, VA
10/17/2015 08:44 AM

  I called the EPA to point out ethanol's shortcomings when the program first started in 2006, I asked why they were adding the much more expensive to produce carbon intense anhydrous ethanol to gasoline instead of simply using hydrous ethanol as a fuel on its own,, like you say here, they claimed ethanol needed gasoline as a "bridge" to build the refining capacity to later use it as a lone fuel,, my impression since then has that they have not moved towards hydrous ethanol, which is even though it's much more environmentally friendly and competitive with gasoline, because it's too cheap and easy to produce, meaning no need for Wall Street's big financial hand of control to reign in a new fuel that can compete against oil,, this is while state and local politicians are in the pockets of big ethanol and corn, who are in the pockets of Wall Street,, it's a damn shame too, because hydrous ethanol could easily and profitably make the whole Midwest independent of gasoline with a cheaper unmandated fuel, eventually many other parts of the country as well


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