One Cheer For Team Obama: EPA Wants To Back Down On Ethanol

From the Washington Times:

In a move likely to anger corn farmers and their congressional representatives, the Obama administration Friday proposed the first-ever cut in the amount of corn-based ethanol and other biofuels that must be mixed into the nation’s gasoline, with the Environmental Protection Agency concluding that the mandate set by Congress just six years ago is proving difficult and perhaps impossible for gas producers to meet.

The move could spark a fight from corn growers and those who have argued the ethanol mix was key to reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil suppliers.

The EPA proposal would require refiners to blend about 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels such as ethanol into the nation’s gasoline supply — a decline of nearly 17 percent from the level set in the 2007 law. That law gave regulators the flexibility to cut the standard if market or production conditions dictated a change.

With ethanol by far the leading biofuel, it will be hurt the most by the renewable fuels mandate reduction.

Ethanol producers and lawmakers from major corn-producing states have lobbied the EPA not to lower the mandate, but the agency was responding to growing pressure from oil companies and refiners who argued that the mandate levels were too high and increasingly uneconomic. Opponents also argued that the gasoline blended with the mandated 15 percent ethanol was being rejected by consumers because of potential damage to engines. Standard gasoline stocks contain around 10 percent or less ethanol.

I have to assume that there is a divide-and-conquer strategy behind this. If Obama can make Republicans and Democrats from these states defend Ethanol, he will start another war between most conservatives (and all principled conservatives) against the Ethanol lobby, including the GOP wing.

More power to him and the EPA. I applaud them in the midst of their evil war against carbon dioxide for deciding to do something right. The sooner the nation rejects the Ethanol tyranny, the better. Ethanol degrades the miles we get per gallon, destroys the environment, and raises the price of food. My only complaint is that this move merely cuts Ethanol tainting of our gasoline by a fraction.

It needs to be eliminated altogether.