Earlier this week, Erika brought us up to date on the partial effort in Europe to curb the general trend toward government mandates of renewable, “green” fuels for consumers and the energy industry. It wasn’t very comprehensive, but at least it was a first step. So perhaps the good folks in Washington will take a page from that playbook and begin working on similar restraints. Oh… who am I kidding?

Don’t try to improve Renewable Fuel Standard, repeal it

Little noticed that while the immigration debate raged in the Senate last month, the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House took up the issue of the federal government’s Renewable Fuel Standard…

House Rule 1959 is being proposed by some members of Congress from Texas and other states to make a bad law better. HR 1959 – the Domestic Alternative Fuels Act – would add natural gas to the fuel standard mandate.

Supporters argue doing so would end the government-granted monopoly corn ethanol enjoys and benefit consumers by addressing supply issues by giving more energy alternatives for meeting the ethanol mandate. For all its best intentions, HR 1959 could ultimately backfire and shore up the bad public policy that is inherent in the Renewable Fuel Standard.

While our country’s prolific natural gas reserves certainly must be used to fuel our quality of life and our national security interests, adding it to the fuel standard in an attempt to create a level playing field is like putting lipstick on a pig. There is no way to improve the Renewable Fuel Standard short of repeal.

We were initially led to believe that there were efforts underway to just get rid of the RFS. So many things are wrong with it, offered in exchange for virtually nothing worthwhile in it, that there is virtually nothing there worth saving. We’re burning food to create less efficient fuel, driving up prices, ruining engines not built to sustain 15% ethanol blends… the list goes on. But now we’re going to expand it by shoving natural gas into the mix? There must be some green happy Democrats at the bottom of this. Well, there are, but leading the charge are some unexpected figures, including Congressmen Pete Olson and Joe Barton (R-TX).

The obvious first question here is, why? Ben Howe at Red State has a guess.

What could drive Texas Republicans to support such a thing? Well, much like Iowa loves their corn subsidies, some in Texas want to take advantage of the natural gas boom by diverting government power and money to their constituents and donors.

That’s just great. It’s the return of old fashioned pork barrel politics, but with a shiny new cover on it. Let’s remember for a moment that we’re still mandating the use of experimental biofuels which, to date, still do not exist. If you want to give Congress a better reputation and have us stop laughing at you, (if only to keep ourselves from crying) maybe a good starting point would be to stop doing stupid things.

EDIT: (Jazz) Fixed RedState link above.