ACE responds to Big Oil's ethanol, RFS criticism

By Erin Voegele | February 04, 2013

The Environmental Working Group joined a variety of other organizations today to call for the reform of the renewable fuel standard (RFS), claiming the program negatively impacts the environment, farmers and taxpayers.

In a statement, Scott Faber, EWG vice president of government affairs called ethanol a “disaster” for consumers, farmers, taxpayers, and theorized that the fuel is “worse for the environment than Canadian tar sands.”

Faber also said that ethanol dramatically increase the price of corn, causes land use changes, and increases emissions levels. Other organizations participating in the media call included ActionAid, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, Environmental Working Group, FarmEcon LLC, National Marine Manufacturers Association and Taxpayers for Common Sense.

In response, the American Coalition for Ethanol issued a statement stressing the RFS is working. “It is the most effective policy ever enacted by Congress to reduce foreign oil imports,” said ACE. “When the RFS went into effect in 2006, U.S. oil imports stood at 60 percent. In 2012, net oil imports fell to less than 40 percent. Further, unlike oil, ethanol is not subsidized and wholesale prices of ethanol are still 40 to 50 cents per gallon less expensive than unleaded gasoline. Consumers would pay more at the pump if the RFS is repealed, and the U.S. would return to relying on the rest of the world for more expensive forms of fossil fuel.”

ACE also noted that Big Oil has built the blend wall by refusing to take steps to meet the RFS, instead spending millions fight the program. The organization also criticized the organizations for continuing to discussing E15 and small engines, when regulations clearly state E15 is not for use in non-road engines.

“While these ethanol opponents continue to cast themselves as being concerned about all sorts of different issues, they simply want to eliminate competition for their products. The Cheap Corn Coalition lives to spread even more misinformation,” continued ACE in its statement.