The Annual Battle for Renewables
by Bob Dinneen (The Hill) … It’s worth recalling why a bipartisan coalition of policymakers, including President George W. Bush, worked together in 2007 to expand the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires oil companies to make increasing amounts of biofuel available to consumers as part of America’s fuel mix. The plan was simple: protect America’s homegrown energy sector from manipulation by oil producers and foreign cartels, then watch it grow. And it has. In 2015, the production of 14.7 billion gallons of ethanol supported 85,967 direct jobs in renewable fuel production and agriculture, as well as 271,440 indirect and induced jobs across all sectors of the economy. Not surprisingly, five of the top 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates also rank in the top 10 ethanol-producing states.
Meantime, net petroleum import dependence fell to just 25 percent in 2015, and would have been 32 percent without the addition of domestically produced ethanol to the fuel supply. Ethanol helped to reduce gasoline prices by as much as $.50 to $1.50 a gallon when prices last peaked.
The more we utilize home-grown alternatives, the less consumers have to fear the next bit of news about unrest in the Middle East or surging energy demand in Asia. Just as important, it means fewer American dollars finding their way into the hands of hostile forces overseas.
According to Argonne National Lab, the average gallon of corn ethanol reduces CO2 emissions by 34 percent, but production facilities coming online now will produce cellulosic biofuels that can slash emissions by 100 percent or more over gasoline. READ MORE and MORE (ICIS) and MORE (Platts) and MORE (Farms.com) and MORE (Fox News)