(p. A9) Before long, it may be politically safe to take a wise step and eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
. . .
Today, ethanol’s downsides have become clear.
First, it increases the cost of driving. Current ethanol blends provide fewer miles per gallon, so drivers pay more to travel the same distance. According to the Institute for Energy Research, American drivers have paid an additional $83 billion since 2007 because of the RFS.
Second, ethanol adds more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than it eliminates by replacing fossil fuels. The Environmental Working Group says that “corn ethanol is an environmental disaster.” The group explains: “The mandate to blend ethanol into gasoline has driven farmers to plow up land to plant corn–40 percent of the corn now grown in the U.S. is used to make ethanol. When farmers plow up grasslands and wetlands to grow corn, they release the carbon stored in the soil, contributing to climate-warming carbon emissions.” And then there is the carbon emitted in harvesting, transporting and processing the corn into ethanol.
For the full commentary, see:
MERRILL MATTHEWS. “The Corn-Fed Albatross Called Ethanol.” The Wall Street Journal (Weds., Jan. 6, 2016): A9.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Jan. 5, 2016.)