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'Lifesaving' ethanol?

| Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

As the government backs off — ever so slightly — from its federal ethanol mandate in 2014, the corn fuel industry is pulling out all the stops to sustain the foolishness of its brand.

This, after the Environmental Protection Agency reduced ethanol's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to 15.21 billion gallons this year (down 1.3 billion gallons from 2013) because of a drop in gasoline demand. You see, refiners have reached what's called the “blending wall” — the point at which exceeding the current 10 percent ethanol mix will damage gasoline-powered engines, according to consumer groups.

So the ethanol industry — specifically, the “progressive” veterans group VoteVets.org — now argues that the fed's mandate is saving U.S. soldiers' lives by reducing the demand for Middle East oil, according to The Daily Caller.

Really? According to the government's latest data, the United States imported about 40 percent of its total petroleum consumed in 2012 and those imports have been declining since 2005. Of that amount, only about 29 percent of America's crude oil and petroleum products came from the Persian Gulf.

Meanwhile, the argument to blindly continue the ethanol mandate has come under increasing fire, most recently from an Associated Press report: “The ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than government admits today.”

America doesn't need a “lifesaving” ethanol mandate. It needs a safe, commonsense domestic energy policy.

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