Hockessin, DE (March 8, 2018) — Delaware Nature Society calls on the U.S. Congress to support bills introduced today in the House and Senate to fix the federal ethanol mandate that has led to widespread habitat loss and water pollution, jeopardizing the health of people and wildlife.
The Growing Renewable Energy through Existing and New Environmentally Responsible Fuels Act, known an as the GREENER Fuels Act, seeks to reform the 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard, which has led to a host of unintended consequences, from destruction of habitat to contribution of climate-disrupting pollution.
The ethanol mandate, known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, is a federal program administered by the U.S. EPA that mandates gasoline include a minimum amount of alternative fuels — such as those derived from corn ethanol. The goal of the program — which ratchets up the volume of renewable fuels each year — is to move away from petroleum-derived gasoline. Unfortunately, the mandate has never lived up to its intentions.
“This bill represents a great step forward in our effort to support cleaner fuels and a cleaner environment,” said Chris Klarich, Campaign Manager, Delaware Nature Society. “It’s a good deal for the people of Delaware and all of our nation’s communities. Fixing the broken ethanol mandate will protect our health, wildlife, and water. We urge Congress to support and pass this bill.”
The GREENER Fuels Act provides long-overdue reforms to the ethanol mandate, including:
- Reducing the amount of ethanol in our fuel by placing a firm cap on the blend level of 9.7 percent. (The fuel mix is currently slightly higher than 10 percent.)
- Winding down the corn ethanol mandate. Beginning in 2023, after the current statutory volumes end, the bill steps down the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.
- Preventing the expansion of E15 (gasoline that is 15 percent ethanol).
- Funding to reverse the vast habitat damage over the last 13 years by investing more than $10 billion over 10 years to restore wildlife habitat that has been converted to crops and to prevent habitat from being destroyed.
- Protecting wildlife habitat by enforcing existing land protections that are supposed to prevent converted land from qualifying as a source of biofuel material.
- Helping confront climate change by eliminating a loophole that allows older biofuel plants to skirt climate pollution standards, halting the conversion of habitat for biofuel, and incentivizing advanced biofuels that lower climate disrupting pollution in our fuel supply.
- Preventing harmful or invasive species to be used as fuel.