The facts back up ethanol’s real value
Last week’s announcement of an emergency waiver keeping E15 fuel blends available at gas pumps this summer was good news, but — almost predictably — it brought a lot of tired, old anti-ethanol arguments back to the surface.
Soon after President Joe Biden announced the waiver, stories began circulating claiming that ethanol is bad for the climate and that it leads to higher food prices, among other falsehoods. All of those arguments have been debunked, but that doesn’t seem to matter in the age of 10-second sound bites and disproven studies that live on forever on the internet.
First of all, the fact that E15 isn’t available year-round is a technicality. It’s a complicated issue that’s tough to sum up in a few sentences, but the bottom line is that — even though studies prove E15 burns cleaner than E10 — since it wasn’t specifically written into the Clean Air Act some 30 years ago (because E15 didn’t exist at the time), oil companies are using that technicality to protect their market share.
Another argument that comes around every so often is that ethanol isn’t environmentally sustainable, even though those claims have been disproven by studies by Harvard, the USDA and the Department of Energy.
Ethanol is also a convenient scapegoat every time prices rise at the grocery store. The truth is packaging, transportation, labor and other supply chain costs are responsible for up to 88% of every dollar consumers spend on food.
So when you see or hear misinformation about ethanol being spread, know the facts back up the real value of biofuels.
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