“We” had too much -an overproduction of- soybean oil, so a farm checkoff program led to the funding necessary to begin what is now a major biodiesel industry (with taxpayer help). Every couple of years, the biodiesel per gallon tax credit is passed (usually retroactive to the last lapse of coverage) in Congress in their “cleaning up” end of the year bill.
I cannot figure out why there isn’t a greater backlash from the U.S. citizen about our nation’s ethanol policy. While the world’s food and agricultural journalists are in a constant toot about food waste and how to prevent it, they don’t seem to notice that we are wasting the production from some of the best farmland in the world, the American Midwest, by burning massive amounts of corn for fueling our vehicles.
The environmental consequences are also enormous. This policy is causing alarming losses of soil from this rich productive region, it is a large reason behind the fertilizer run-off that creates the Dead Zone in the Gulf, and the policy has also led to a sad loss of monarch’s, songbirds, and biodiversity.
The EPA made a small move towards sanity when it attempted to reduce the mandates set above the blend wall, but now it has failed to follow-through, at least until after this November’s election, it would appear.
This U.S. policy is mandated food waste.
And it is less energy in your gas tank.
From the U.S. Energy Information Association:
Increasing ethanol use has reduced the average energy content of retail motor gasoline
EIA has adjusted its estimates of the energy content of retail motor gasoline in the Monthly Energy Review (MER) to reflect its changing composition. Ethanol and other oxygenates, which have lower energy content than petroleum-based gasoline components, have seen their share of total gasoline volumes increase from 2% in 1993 to nearly 10% in 2013. As a result, EIA’s estimate of motor gasoline’s average energy content per gallon has declined by about 3% over this 20-year period.