Renewable Fuel Standard

The biofuel mandate is hurting our economy, driving up food prices, and damaging our engines.

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Despite legitimate concerns about economic and vehicle damage—and bipartisan opposition from lawmakers, refiners, carmakers, and NGOs—the EPA continues to enforce the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). To protect our economy, food prices, and engines, our leaders in Washington need to repeal this unworkable mandate.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was created in 2007, mandating that gasoline and diesel should contain more biofuels like ethanol. Fuels with ethanol added pose a threat to the engines in tools and vehicles that millions of Americans use each day. Studies have shown that fuel with 15 percent ethanol (“E15”) can harm engines and fuel systems in cars, boats, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, snowmobiles, and other gas-powered equipment. Taken together, mandating high-ethanol fuels hurts our economy by raising the cost of doing business. One economic analysis shows that the RFS could lead to a $770 billion drop in the U.S. GDP by 2015.

Because of the RFS and subsequent use of corn ethanol, the spike in demand has driven corn prices up 275 percent. According to a 2013 study, thanks to the RFS, American families are now paying about $2,000 a year more for food. At the same time, ethanol is billed as a greener fuel than gasoline, but that description starts to fall apart when you look at the facts, such as that corn ethanol contains 33 percent less energy per gallon than gasoline, which means less fuel economy and more trips to the pump.