The Renewable Fuels Standard has not delivered on its promise. As sport anglers and boaters, we have borne the brunt of the adverse effects of corn-based alcohol in our fuels — and the promises of improved conservation and reduced pollution have just not occurred. It is time to back off the Renewable Fuels Standard; and with Oregon’s Congressman Walden in the driver’s seat as Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Chairman Committee, the timing couldn’t be better.
First, increasing levels of ethanol in gas burn hotter than regular gasoline and corrode various soft parts of boat engines, leading to engine failure and expensive repairs or replacement. Additionally, emissions and mileage of newer vehicles is actually worse with ethanol.
Second, growing the corn needed to produce 15 billion gallons of ethanol a year, as mandated by the Renewable Fuels Standard, has led to more runoff pollution into our streams, lakes, and bays – compromising the health of fish and other aquatic habitat. As corn production has changed to primarily ethanol production, corn for animal feed and food has become more expensive which adds additional strain to American farmers.
Congress has an opportunity this year to change the law to protect and restore grassland and other wildlife habitat—while continuing to benefit farmers and the agriculture economy.
Ask Congress to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard to require less crop-based fuels and enforce existing land protections and conserving fish and wildlife habitat. These changes will allow truly sustainable fuels to replace corn-based fuels that have harmed our boat engines and devastated our wetlands and impacted our streams and rivers, giving fish and wildlife the chance to thrive once more.