EDITORIAL: Congress should kill ethanol mandate

July 6, 2015

The country's decade-old Renewable Fuel Standard requires increasing levels of plant-based ethanol and biodiesel to be added to traditional fossil fuels. It was supposed to be good for the economy and great for the environment. It has been neither - and it could get even worse.

Under the RFS, most gasoline sold in the United States is classified as E10, and contains 90 percent gasoline and as much as 10 percent ethanol made from corn. Ethanol delivers fewer miles per gallon than pure gasoline and can collect water, which damages engines.

Although auto manufacturers have longed warned against using gas containing more than 10 percent ethanol, the Environmental Protection Agency - along with misguided renewable-fuel advocates, the big agriculture lobby and their friends in elected office - pushed to add more ethanol to our fuel. In 2009, for example, the EPA approved the sale of E15, which contains 15 percent ethanol and is even more harmful to vehicles. But E15 has been a flop at the pump.


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