“Unintended Consequences of Mandated Use of Biofuels”

Thoughts on a Free Market Economy…

“Unintended Consequences of Mandated Biofuel Use”

February 1, 2018

By Phyllis Hunsinger

 

            “Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels has the potential to reduce some undesirable aspects of fossil fuel production and use, including conventional and greenhouse pollutant emissions, exhaustible resource depletion, and dependence on unstable foreign suppliers”

according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s government website.

            Certainly there are some benefits from biofuels:  the demand for biofuels can increase farm income and biofuels are renewable.  However biofuel production alone will not decrease conventional pollutant emissions or alleviate pressure on exhaustible resources. Even the EPA website admits that biofuel production and use must coincide with reductions in the production and use of fossil fuels. The EPA website goes on to acknowledge that biofuels tend to require subsidies and other market interventions to compete economically with fossil fuels.

            David Pimentel, a Cornell professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, “Abusing our precious croplands to grow corn for an energy-inefficient process that yields low-grade automobile fuel amounts to unsustainable, subsidized food burning.”

            As Professor Pimentel enumerates, “about 70% more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in ethanol. Every time you make one gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 Btu.”  Based on the numbers of acres needed to grow the corn feedstock, if all the automobiles in the U.S. were fueled with 100% ethanol, Professor Pimentel calculated it would require 97% of the US. farmland.

            From an economic and environmental standpoint, it makes no sense to use biofuels let alone mandate their use. The American people are not only supporting the biofuel industry with their tax dollars, they are also creating a more expensive and less efficient form of fuel.  And all of this is because of the mandated use of biofuels by the government.  The examples of unintended consequences resulting from good intentions and government interventions are legendary.

            America’s free enterprise system allows for market place decisions to be made by the consumers. Government mandates skew the entire market and leave the consumer out of the decision making process.  The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution explicitly enumerate the proper role of government.  Our forefathers must have known that stepping outside the proper role of government leads to disastrous unintended consequences.

 

           

 

 

 

           

https://www.free-dom.co.us, Phyllis Hunsinger © 2013 All Rights Reserved

 

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