Senator James Lankford Says Ethanol is a Great Fuel- But the RFS is Ineffective and Needs to GoWed, 30 Nov 2016 20:50:20 CST
Oklahoma's junior Senator James Lankford has been busy this week with the release of his government waste report entitled "Federal Fumbles" and a pair of reports from the General Accounting Office on the worthiness of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Lankford after these reports were released- talking briefly about Federal Fumbles but then zeroing in on the RFS reports from GAO.
“The Renewable Fuel Standard was an experiment done by Congress to try to mandate a fuel to try to say how we’re going to deal with greenhouse gases, how we’re going to deal with trying to get off foreign oil. Both of those things were not fixed by the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Lankford said. “I’m asking the question, ‘if this wasn’t fixed, then shouldn’t Congress revisit this mandate?’”
Upon review of the report, Lankford calculates that the ethanol mandate and RFS have actually cost consumers more at the pump than normally, even with the high fuel prices seen today. Through a series of questions posed, the senator has received answers in response that culminate in the law’s resounding failure to accomplish the charges set by Congress.
“Every study that I’ve seen says even if the mandate is removed, the fuel will still be used in very large quantities all around the country,” Lankford explains. “But the difference is, when the mandate is removed a lot of the cost of using extra ethanol is also removed.”
These studies show that none of the original goals of RFS have made any progress, 10 years since it was put in place. In effect, greenhouse gases have not been significantly reduced, the country remains dependent on foreign oil and technology has yet to provide a viable substitute for corn in the production of ethanol as was expected. Although, Lankford would like to see RFS gone, he clarifies he is not against the use of ethanol as a fuel alternative.
“Ethanol is not a bad fuel. Ethanol just shouldn’t be a fuel that be mandated everyone to use,” Lankford states. “The mandate is not working and we’re trying to fix a law.”
The next step in this process to facilitate change is to sit down with the Government Accountability Office and the EPA to discuss what can potentially be done to resolve this issue.
“Long term, I think we should continue to use ethanol,” Lankford concludes. “We should continue to use it in large quantities but we shouldn’t have a mandate that drives up the additional costs to consumers.”
Listen to the full conversation between Hays and Sen. Lankford over the practicality of RFS, by clicking or tapping on the LISTEN BAR below.
Earlier this week- Radio Oklahoma Network posted reports on both the Federal Fumbles Report on Government Waste as well as on the GAO Reports the RFS. Click here for the earlier report on Federal Fumbles and click here for the report on the GAO findings on the Renewable Fuel Standard.
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