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EPA's Ethanol Proposal and More Reasons for Energy Optimism

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 18, 2013

Big Ethanol Finally Loses

Wall Street Journal (editorial): It's not often that the ethanol lobby suffers a policy setback in Washington, but it got its head handed to it Friday. The Environmental Protection Agency announced that for the first time it is lowering the federal mandate that dictates how much ethanol must be blended into the nation's gasoline. It's about time. It's been about time from the moment the ethanol mandate came to life in the 1970s.

The 16% reduction is a modest pullback, which EPA says will hold ethanol blends in gasoline at the standard 10% (E10). But we hope this is a precedent-setting victory. After 35 years of exaggerations about the benefits of renewable fuels, the industry has lost credibility.

For years the biofuels lobby has boasted that its product was a green alternative to emissions from oil and gas. But a growing body of scientific evidence is showing that ethanol consumes so much energy and fertilizer, and requires planting so much marginal cropland, that the impact on air quality is at best neutral and on water quality may be negative.

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Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.