Dysfunction in the federal government may be at an all-time high, but lawmakers are finding bipartisan unity regarding one goal: repeal of the ethanol fuel mandate.
The federal Renewable Fuel Standard requires that 35 billion gallons of ethanol-equivalent biofuels and 1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel be refined by 2022. This was never a great idea — it would be far better to allow consumer preference and market demands drive our direction.
That hasn’t been the case.
In 2007, U.S. gasoline consumption totaled around 145 billion gallons; this year’s consumption is expected to be closer to 120 billion gallons. Thanks to the fracking revolution, domestic production of oil has surged and imports have declined by more than 72 percent since 2005.