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The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is a federal mandate that requires gradually increasing amounts of biofuels such as corn-based ethanol and other experimental biofuels to be blended into the nation's fuel supply.
These standards, set in 2007, pre-date the financial crisis and resulting economic downturn and therefore do not account for the major changes that the nation's economy underwent towards the end of the last decade. As a result, while domestic fuel consumption has dropped, the mandated amount of ethanol and other biofuels required to be blended into the fuel supply has continued to increase. This has created a situation where the amount of ethanol in the fuel supply has reached levels that pose a serious risk to the fuel infrastructure and motorvehicle engines; never designed to perform with fuel inundated with such high levels of ethanol.
Further, domestic fuel producers are unlikely to find a substantial market for fuels with excessive ethanol content. Thus, many are likely to limit fuel production or export their fuels to less restrictive markets resulting in greater scarcity and higher prices in the US fuel market. This is something that American's can ill-afford as they still grapple with historically above-average gas prices and the lingering effects of the "Great Recession."
It is the position of the FreedomWorks Foundation that government mandates in any market are ill-advised and create economic inefficiencies. The RFS is a quintessential example of this.
In response to the undeniable crisis created by the RFS's arbitrary biofuels requirements, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed reducing the mandated amount of ethanol and other biofuels required to be blended into the domestic fuel supply in 2014.
While the FreedomWorks Foundation celebrates this move by EPA as a step in the right direction, we remain convinced that the RFS is fundamentally flawed and wholly unnecessary. We believe that a full repeal of the RFS mandate is in the best interest of the American consumer. These views are expressed in greater detail in the comment the FreedomWorks Foundation submitted to EPA today.
To read our comment to EPA on the RFS and our recommendation for future action, please click here or on the attached document below.