| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Time to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The idiocy of federally mandated corn-based ethanol production is so plain that even a liberal Democrat now has joined the chorus of conservative voices advocating its end.

Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont called for repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for corn-based ethanol at a Washington event focused on that mandate, The Hill newspaper's RegWatch blog reports. And his rationale certainly is familiar to those on the opposite end of the political spectrum who've long opposed this RFS.

The standard raises food and livestock-feed prices — and adds 5 to 10 cents to the price of a gallon of gasoline, according to The Wall Street Journal — by diverting 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop to production of ethanol that's blended into gas. Ethanol takes more energy to produce than it yields as fuel, offsetting supposed environmental benefits, and those ethanol-gasoline blends reduce performance of and can damage engines.

Absent this RFS, the corn-based ethanol market wouldn't exist — which is a sure sign that it shouldn't. To his credit, Mr. Welch is among lawmakers who've introduced legislation to repeal the corn-based ethanol standard. And he thinks momentum for doing so is growing.

Still, every RFS — the one for corn-based ethanol and those for other, more exotic, even less economically viable biofuels — should go. Especially with technological innovation making domestic oil and natural gas newly abundant and affordable, Uncle Sam should not be artificially propping up any not-ready-for-prime-time “alternative” energy source.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
  2. Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
  3. Greensburg Laurels & Lances
  4. The Brady affair: Contract law
  5. Regional growth
  6. The Thursday wrap
  7. So, where’s the I-70 ‘Welcome to Pennsylvania’ sign on the Pa.-W.Va. border?
  8. Medicare @ 50: Sick, getting sicker
  9. Mon-Yough Laurels & Lances
  10. The wind ruse: A failed policy
  11. Sunday pops