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Thread: The Trump Administration Must Amend The Ethanol Mandate

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    The Trump Administration Must Amend The Ethanol Mandate


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    November 14, 2017
    The Trump Administration Must Amend the Ethanol Mandate

    By Peter Van Voorhis



    President Donald J. Trump campaigned on saving the forgotten men and women from the heavy hand of government. Trump won the presidency in a historic upset because of strong blue-collar support from states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Many of these workers earn their paychecks from small, local refineries, which provide thousands of jobs to ordinary Americans.


    Although Trump has made significant progress with his economic growth agenda, a recent, seemingly unilateral assurance by Environmental Protection Agency administrator Edward S. Pruitt is threatening to put his pro-jobs plan in jeopardy.


    After receiving backlash from midwestern lawmakers, Pruitt sent a letter to them on October 18th stating that the EPA would hold off on reducing the Renewable Fuel Standard mandates and perhaps even increase the blending requirements.


    Like many government programs, the RFS started small under the Bush administration, grew ever larger during eight years of President Barack H. Obama, and is now threatening to explode in size under the Trump administration.



    The RFS’s ethanol mandate forces refineries to blend a set amount of ethanol into 15 billion gallons of fuel annually.

    Because the ethanol lobbyists who advanced the regulation had the sole objective of forcing more people to buy their product, this bureaucratic decree does not specify that every refinery must mix the product into their fuel. All that matters to them is that the 15 billion gallon minimum is met.


    Accordingly, instead of blending the fuel at sky-high costs themselves, small plants can opt to buy transferrable credits, commonly referred to as Renewable Identification Numbers, from larger refineries to meet their share of the burden.


    In doing so, these plants are essentially paying someone else to produce their required percentage of the 15 billion -- a concept comparable to the healthcare individual mandate, only worse.


    Unlike the individual mandate, RINs are bought and sold on a secondary market, where speculators have made millions through price gouging. Although the credits have become unaffordable for small, local refineries, this hard truth does not matter to the ethanol lobby, which made its money either way.


    In this way, the RFS is nothing more than a backdoor, government-mandated transfer of wealth from Middle America to ethanol lobbyists, and it is one that threatens to derail a much-needed reform for America’s middle class.


    To date, this draconian mandate has caused thousands of workers to lose their jobs, even after decades of working at the same plant. For all but the biggest and most powerful refineries, it has simply become too expensive to comply.


    Scrapping the RFS altogether does not yet seem to be feasible given the current political climate; however, this year, the EPA has considered reforming the regulation to make it more tolerable.


    For a time, the administration seemed poised to move the mandate’s “point of obligation” off the backs of every small refiner and exclusively onto the voluntary producers of the ethanol blend -- the ones that the government allows to charge exorbitant costs for RINs credits.


    To make the lift even easier on these manufacturers, they also deliberated allowing foreign purchases of the mix to count towards the quota, a move that was expected to produce 26,000 new jobs and 1.2 billion gallons of exports.


    Unfortunately, it seems that Pruitt changed his tune on this policy switch once midwestern lawmakers threatened to hold up Trump’s EPA nominees unless the RFS is not only maintained but expanded.


    Crony capitalist special interests are not simply demanding that the federal government continue giving them their handout; they want the EPA to provide them with even more than what they received during the Obama administration.


    Thankfully, conservatives are not giving up without a fight. Nine GOP senators, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), James N. Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), sent a letter to the president requesting a meeting so they can share their side of the Renewable Fuel Standard story.


    Sens. Cruz and Lee have gone so far as to put William H. Northey’s nomination for a senior United States Department of Agriculture post on hold until they receive their meeting. Kudos to the GOP for trying to keep the White House honest.


    Hopefully, the administration will take the senators’ up on their request, because the ethanol mandate is not just wrong on a fiscal level. It is wrong on a moral level and threatens the living standards of low and middle-income Americans.


    Anyone who claims to want to “drain the swamp” would be wise to start with repealing, or at least amending, the Renewable Fuel Standard.


    We are better than this.


    Peter Van Voorhis is a conservative activist, commentator, and journalist. He is a weekly contributor to iHeartRadio's PowerTalk 96.7FM
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    It' become too huge of a racket to even Amend.
    A strange coalition of crooks, agricultural, oil, and environmental interests robbing citizens and using government to do it.
    Today we live. Tomorrow we die.
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    all bullshit. nobody wants or needs it. mixing ethanol into gasoline is another green scheme by the globalist grifters bush and obama. once in place it is cast in stone just like obamacare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkTheSlayer View Post
    It' become too huge of a racket to even Amend.
    A strange coalition of crooks, agricultural, oil, and environmental interests robbing citizens and using government to do it.
    Too crooked to fail, that's what Hillary thought. I think it can be done and it should be done, it is a complete scam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morning Star View Post
    Too crooked to fail, that's what Hillary thought. I think it can be done and it should be done, it is a complete scam.
    We can only hope and continue to lobby our representatives for removal. Fighting the corn and oil lobbies will be difficult. They have nothing to lose. We pay the additional associated bullshit costs not the refineries.
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    It's going to be hard to give rid of because Trump needs the votes of the Mid-west for his second term. The Mid-west is the Bible belt and the corn belt. From the get-go corn in your gas tank was a no-no but the Mid-west doesn't have any other industry other than Bibles and corn to sell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quark View Post
    It's going to be hard to give rid of because Trump needs the votes of the Mid-west for his second term. The Mid-west is the Bible belt and the corn belt. From the get-go corn in your gas tank was a no-no but the Mid-west doesn't have any other industry other than Bibles and corn to sell.
    To bad we can't burn bibles to power our cars.

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    I look at it from the consumer standpoint.

    E5, E10 (gasahol), and E20 are a very bad deal for the motorist and is a complete rip-off used in anything but very late-model cars. Ethanol separates and is corrosive. Ethanol has about two-thirds the heat value of gasoline, so the motorist pays more and gets less. The higher the ethanol content, the harder your car is to start in the winter.Ethanol is a misnomer. Anhydrous ethanol is potable and would be taxed like whiskey. Fuel-grade ethanol has methanol in it making it denatured alcohol. If you can find E100 you can use it as a shellac solvent.

    The only ethanol blend that makes any sense is E85 and that only as a substitute for racing gas (95+ octane). It's not s toxic as race gas but does require a bigger diameter stainless steel fuel system and you have to replace fuel pump diaphragms twice a year. But it does have minimum 95 octane and in summer over 105 octane. Really nice stuff if you have a supercharged or high-compression engine. It is also a good substitute for 100LL avgas for light planes, but (once again) you have to retrofit the entire fuel system.

    But compressed natural gas is even better. Cheaper, cleaner, and 120+ octane.

    I agree with the OP. Drop the ethanol mandate. Corn sells well without a wasteful program like ethanol.

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    I can almost hear the signing..
    The mid-west will be democrat for generations.
    I must admit it would be nice to not need to take out a loan for a good steak.

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    Grassely will not like this. Another example of the dangers of big business capitalism. I think Goldwater said it first. We have the best government money can buy. And you get upset by American socialism.

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