Oh, I’ll tell you what’s ridiculous: That the artificial incentives (hint: mandate) created by the Renewable Fuels Standard are messing with worldwide food prices, to the detriment of the poor; that both environmentalists groups and oil companies now think that ethanol is a generally terrible idea; that all of this biofuel production is turning out to be demonstrably not even a little bit “green,” as it brings marginal lands into production and costs more carbon to produce than it actually saves; that Europe (Europe!) is now scaling back on what they’re beginning to admit is one heck of an expensive taxpayer subsidy; that the federal government’s arbitrary standards are a factor in rising gas prices; and that somehow, somehow, the Big Ethanol Lobby and the bureaucrats who love them are still able to say that this was ever a worthwhile endeavor while maintaining a straight face. That is all highly, wildly ridiculous.
But let none of that deter the oh-so-august policymakers of the Obama administration. Over the past few months, there’s brewing storm over the RFS, which requires refiners to blend an ever-increasing volume of specific biofuels into the fuel supply or else buy increasingly pricey credits, and even Congress has been examining the possibility that it would really just be better for everyone if we flat-out got rid of the whole accursed thing.
The White House, however, doesn’t happen to feel that way. Via The Hill:
The White House on Thursday doubled down on its support of a biofuel-blending rule that’s drawing intense attacks from the oil industry and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Heather Zichal, President Obama’s top energy and climate adviser, said the renewable fuel standard is the “backbone of our policy” for reducing oil imports, and added it would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Calls to repeal the renewable fuel standard are nothing but short-sighted,” Zichal said at a Thursday event hosted by The Hill and the Advanced Biofuels Association.
Zichal said the Obama administration would remain committed to the standard in the face of the “RFS battles that we know are ahead of us.” …
Zichal spoke to the economic aspect on Thursday, calling the renewable fuel standard an “opportunity to develop a new competitive industry.”
Er… if biofuels (which aren’t “new,” by the way) are really so very competitive, remind me why it is they still need so much federal assistance? Anyone?