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The White House May Waive The EPA's Ethanol Requirement

Illustration for article titled The White House May Waive The EPAs Ethanol Requirement

The news isn't official yet, but MSNBC's Chuck Todd tweeted an hour ago that the White House hinted that because of this summer's drought, it's considering waiving the ethanol production requirements the Environmental Protection Agency imposes on corn growers.


The Renewable Fuel Standard, passed into law in 2005, calls for corn growers to produce 13.2 billion gallons of corn-based biofuel in 2012. Currently, 40 percent of America's corn goes to fuel production, 36 percent to feed supplies, and the rest to processed food manufacturers and exports.


Perhaps not surprising is the fact that livestock growers are behind the political pressure to shunt corn usually used for fuel into feed supplies in order to keep feed prices from going higher.

I have an idea. Let's do away with ethanol altogether. It sucks as a fuel, and seems only to be benefitting government subsidized corn farmers. Have you driven through the corn belt recently? As far as belts go, it resembles a pro wrestling championship belt. (I drove through South Dakota, Southern Minnesota, etc. last summer, staring at corn for 15 fucking hours.)

Anyways, if this rumor comes to fruition and the Obama administration grants the ethanol production waiver, most motorists will either rejoice the change or miss it altogether.


Photo credit: Jim Barber/Shutterstock

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The other aspect of note here are the different reasons why this is being done - one being as a factor in fighting a global increase in food costs due to droughts. The United Nations has asked the United States to do this, and several countries, including China, have expressed a desire to see this happen independently of the United Nations.

I just wonder what other effects that doing this might have, good or bad.