Bringing Together Conservative Voices

Horowitz: Time for House Republicans to repeal statist ethanol mandate

Let us choose the fuel we’d like to put in our cars and the biological products we put in our bodies. It’s called freedom.

In 2007, in one of the dumbest and most selfish acts of public policy, Congress mandated that oil refiners blend ethanol into the nation’s gasoline supply in order to reduce CO2 emissions. In reality, blending ethanol with gasoline produces more emissions, because it is less efficient and therefore brings more pain to motorists, makes refining more expensive and difficult, and disrupts the food supply – all during the worst energy and food crisis in recent memory.

Naturally, because our government is engaged in a controlled demolition to curtail our self-reliance, prosperity, and freedom, the EPA has announced it is tightening the biofuels mandate.

Earlier this month, the EPA announced a proposed increase in the renewable fuel standard, requiring refiners to now blend 20.82 billion gallons of biofuels, including ethanol, beginning in 2023. The mandate would rise to 22.68 billion gallons in 2025. When the RFS was established by Congress in 2005, it only set levels through 2022. Which means henceforth, the EPA will just make up its own levels. Now would be the perfect time for Republicans to end the odious ethanol mandate.

If people want to dilute their fuel, they are more than welcome to do so. But why should refiners and consumers be forced to put the equivalent of a face mask on already scarce fuel? Between the ethanol mandate and the electric vehicle fuel mileage mandates, officials are destroying American automobile travel. Unfortunately, both ideas have gotten support from Republicans for years. It’s a disgrace that at a time of high fuel prices, Republicans have not promised to eliminate these counterproductive mandates.

Congress originally mandated ethanol under the guise of reducing CO2 emissions, but in fact ethanol increases CO2. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier this year found that corn-based ethanol is likely at least 24% more carbon-intensive than pure gasoline because of the land use needed to make and process it. So if carbon dioxide is really the enemy – a dubious notion, of course – how can these same global warming fanatics justify diluting our fuel efficiency during this energy crisis?

Then there is the fact that we’re taking 10% of all food grown and turning it into impotent fuel sources during a time of a food shortage. As one Reuters columnist noted, “According to Gro Intelligence, the calories diverted to biofuel production from current policies and future commitments are equivalent to the annual needs of 1.9 billion people.” In total, in 2021, 155 billion liters of biofuels were made. Europe alone converted the equivalent of 5 billion loaves of bread worth of wheat into biofuels.

So we’ve been wasting taxpayer dollars, land, and food for years to destroy refining jobs, raise the cost of food, dilute the efficiency of our fuel, and emit more CO2 (the thing the climate alarmists supposedly want to improve), all to enrich a small industry of lobbyists. Rather than dialing back the ethanol mandates now that there is lower demand for gasoline (thanks to the electric vehicle boondoggle), the government is now trying to use ethanol for electric vehicle recharging! The new EPA rule seeks to incorporate biomass into the electricity grid. So now we’re powering unreliable cars with unreliable electricity.

First, they didn’t want us to drive gasoline cars. Now they are showing that electric vehicles were just a ruse to get rid of the freedom of the automobile altogether. Thanks to the green energy agenda, electricity is becoming even scarcer than gasoline, which is why Switzerland is now placing limits on the use of electric vehicles. Like the story of the frog and the scorpion, after subsidizing wind, solar, and electric vehicles, now they are coming to grips with both the electricity and natural resource shortages that make electric vehicles even less feasible than gasoline automobiles. Which is what they want – a carless society.

u201cWorld Economic Forum calls for end to private car ownershipnSource: Fox Business (Youtube)u201d

— Wittgenstein (@Wittgenstein)

The time has come for conservatives to stop this mantra of “all of the above” when it comes to energy policy. It’s time for an “all that works” approach, meaning we only pursue the sources that don’t need subsidies and mandates to prop them up. If electric vehicles, wind, solar, and biofuels can stand on their own two feet in a free market, then fine. But if they cannot last after years of endless subsidies and mandates, then they deserve to die before our freedom dies first.