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Ethanol bill sputters: The wrong mix

| Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, 8:57 p.m.

Legislation to vastly expand ethanol's mix in the nation's fuel supply has run out of gas, as rightfully it should.

The bill to increase the availability of gas containing 15-percent ethanol likely won't be revisited until Congress returns from its summer break — if then.

Unlike most legislation on Capitol Hill these days, support for corn-based ethanol primarily falls along regional, not political, lines, as determined by those states that directly benefit from its production. Enabling what's been called the government's “moonshine business” is the Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates ethanol's blend in the nation's fuel supply. The common mix now is 10-percent ethanol, although 29 states offer E15.

Never mind valid concerns over engine damage for vehicles and boats that can't handle the higher concentration. Over the years the vocal chorus against ethanol has grown to include various environmental groups, the American Motorcycle Association, the National Taxpayers Union and BoatUS, according to The Washington Times.

Instead of boosting the ethanol percentage on the pretense of enhancing consumers' choices, Congress should instead review (and preferably repeal) the Renewable Fuel Standard, which got dumped on consumers back in 2007.

If, indeed, more fuel choices is the rationale for increasing ethanol's concentration, eliminate the government mandate and let consumers, themselves, decide whether they want this corny fuel in their gas tanks.

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