Stephen Costello’s letter calling for the repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard, Repeal Ethanol Law, March 21, was filled with misinformation.
As the CEO of a fuel supplier based in Boca Raton, ethanol-blended gasoline saves Floridians $.05-$.40 gallon, and creates cleaner air.
The RFS does not require any ethanol to be blended, let alone E85. (Much gasoline is an E10 blend, though, which is saving consumers at least 6 percent over RBOB.) That said, oil refiners typically blend ethanol, and other renewable fuels, because of environmental benefits, and to add octane.
Ethanol production just uses the starch of the non-human-consumption grade kernel. The rest is used to make distillers grains animal feed. The price of corn is back below production price, so, to Costello’s point, why haven’t food prices returned to previous lower levels like corn?
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Only petroleum-industry-funded studies suggest ethanol is not greener than gasoline.
According to California-based Life Cycle Associates, biofuels consumed under the RFS have reduced U.S. GHG emissions by 354 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent.
University of Illinois-Chicago studies have repeatedly shown that it takes 2.7 gallons of water to make a gallon of ethanol. It takes five gallons to make a gallon of gasoline.