Drowned out by adamant cries rising from sides that oppose or support a waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard, an important question has been, in a large part, ignored. Would waiving the RFS have the desired affect? With a single, simple action, can the EPA actually lower corn prices and improve the profitability of the livestock industry?
This weekend, the Kansas City Star examined this important question and found that the frenzied fracas may be for naught. Simply, waiving the RFS might not significantly impact the price of corn.
Citing a variety of factors, from gasoline manufacturers’ dependence upon ethanol to increase the octane of our fuel to local and state clean air regulations, the article clearly outlines how many parties see enough value in ethanol to continue producing and blending it even if the mandate should be waived. Ethanol provides society with more benefits than satisfying a government regulation; one might even conclude that the benefits originally motivated the creation of that regulation.
What does this mean in the context of the ongoing waiver debate? It means that both sides should see the situation as complex and multifaceted. Full consideration and careful examination can help avoid unintended consequences, which it is in everyone’s benefit to avoid.
It also further illustrates the many ways in which ethanol benefits Americans. From lowering prices at the pump to helping keep the air clean, blending ethanol into fuel does more than check a box on a list of rules to follow. It blends the benefits of a domestically produced, environmentally friendly fuel into our nation.