The RFS, the Rebound Effect, and an Additional 431 Million Tons of CO2
There’s a quirk of macroeconomics known as the rebound effect, and it can be a bit of a drag. When the price of a widely used commodity falls, consumers tend to use more of it. In most cases, that’s a good thing. But sometimes the price drop is the unintended consequence of policies or technologies
Flying Blind: EPA Can’t Start Fixing the RFS Until It Stops Ignoring the Problems
Before we dig into the new report on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to conduct “an objective analysis on the environmental impacts and unintended consequences of U.S. biofuel policy,” or how that report echoes the Clean Air Task Force’s long-held position that EPA has not adequately assessed the negative effects that conventional biofuels like […]
Corn Ethanol Attacks Vermont!
When a Washington-based lobbying outfit started airing television ads in Vermont that attack Rep. Peter Welch because he wants to scale back federal support for corn ethanol, the erstwhile Vermonter in me took offense. It has been a few years since I lived in Vermont, but I’ll probably always consider myself a Vermonter and I […]
Why Wait Until 2016 to Reform the RFS?
Will the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) matter in the 2016 elections? Should the next president reform or end the current policy? The National Journal recently posed these questions to its Energy & Environment Expert Insiders.
First Things First: Capping Corn-Based Biofuel Production
When Congress dramatically expanded the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2007, supporters of the revised RFS—which is supposed to push 36 billion gallons of biofuel into the US fuel market by 2022—touted the program as a solution to our overdependence on foreign oil, a cure for flagging rural economies, and a tool for reducing greenhouse gas […]
Corn Ethanol: The Next New Coke?
How do you get Americans to pay for something they don’t really want in the first place? Most of the time – as in the case of New Coke, Harley Davidson Perfume, and the U.S. Football League – the answer is simple: you can’t. But where the Edsel failed, corn ethanol has somehow succeeded. Despite […]