Renewable fuels simultaneously offer economic, environmental and national security benefits – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Why do drivers in Watertown, SD, pay 60 cents a gallon less to fill up their gas tanks than we do? Because 30 percent of their fuel is ethanol.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin sent tanks to Ukraine, President Biden acknowledged that US drivers would feel pain at the pump given Russia’s role as one of the world’s largest oil producers. But its steps to ease that pain so far, including a temporary ban on allowing higher blends of lower-cost ethanol fuel blends, haven’t gone far enough.

So what else can be done to lessen the shock of $5 gas? As a first step, President Biden could direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow the use of higher percentages of renewable fuel, replacing a greater percentage of petroleum gasoline with high-octane, low-carbon, cleaner, and less expensive fuel, such as E25 (25 percent ethanol per gallon). Promoting the use of American-made ethanol in mid-size blends offers an immediate solution while delivering economic, environmental, and national security benefits. Congress could also sponsor a bipartisan bill by passing the Next Generation Fuels Act, HR 5089, that would improve the quality of transportation fuels and promote vehicle technologies that simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase fuel economy.

Let’s take a closer look at these benefits. First, financial relief for consumers: At the wholesale level, a standard E10 blend is now 15 to 20 cents a gallon less than straight gasoline. With this price advantage in the current market, allowing drivers to use higher quality blends would lower their prices by as much as 60 cents per gallon. That’s what’s happening in Watertown today.

Second, American economic and national security would be strengthened by reducing our oil consumption. The price of oil is fixed in world markets, leaving the United States vulnerable to the whims of the leaders of the oil-supplying nations, as Putin has demonstrated. Increasing our fuel supply with domestically produced biofuels will reduce our vulnerability to these whims, lower global oil prices, and better ensure our national security.

Third, the environmental benefits of ethanol are less Greenhouse gas emissions — by 20 to 50 percent compared to regular gasoline — results confirmed in recent studies by Harvard, USDA and the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory. The importance of these benefits is illustrated by the recent report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which warns that the world is heading towards levels of global warming that will have irreversible effects in a few years if nothing is done at all .

Fourth, increasing the ethanol content of gasoline would improve air quality and public health by reducing the release of dangerous ultrafine particles. The most common engines in today’s new cars that use direct fuel injection produce more, not less, of these ultrafine particles. The effect on residents of densely populated urban areas – particularly pregnant women and young children – is just as harmful as that of lead in the air. Using higher quality ethanol blends would reduce emission of these tiny particles while increasing vehicle efficiency and fuel economy.

Most of us have known since kindergarten about the role American farmers play in providing the food we eat and the materials we use to make our clothes and other products. Agriculture’s role as a source of clean energy was also recognized by Congress when it passed a 25×25 renewable energy target in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007: By 2025, America’s farms, forests and ranches will provide 25 percent of all energy in the United States States consumes while food, feed and fiber continue to be produced. Key avenues to achieve this goal include action and public investment in cleaner-burning, lower-cost biofuels.

Biofuels like ethanol offer a win-win-win-win solution to address the pain now felt at the pump. We urge the President and EPA to immediately unlock this walkthrough with multiple benefits.

Reid Detchon is Senior Advisor on Climate Solutions at the United Nations Foundation. Previously, he was Vice President of the Foundation for Energy and Climate Strategy and Executive Director of the Energy Future Coalition. He was also Assistant Assistant Secretary for Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy at the US Department of Energy.

beard Ruth is a Nebraska corn and soybean producer and board member of Solutions from the Land, a grassroots organization exploring integrated land management solutions to meet the goals of food security, economic development, climate change and biodiversity conservation. He is also co-chair of the 25x’25 Alliance, a farmer-run renewable energy advocacy group. He is past President of the American Soybean Association.

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