Feinstein, Coburn offer bill to end corn ethanol mandate

US Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced a bill that would eliminate the corn ethanol mandate within the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires annual increases in the amount of renewable fuel blended into gasoline refined and consumed in the US.

“Under the corn ethanol mandate in the RFS, roughly 44% of US corn is diverted from food to fuel, pushing up the cost of food and animal feed and damaging the environment,” Feinstein said. “Oil companies are also unable to blend more corn ethanol into gasoline without causing problems for automobiles, boats, and other vehicles.

“I strongly support requiring a shift to low-carbon advanced biofuel, including biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, and other revolutionary fuels. But a corn ethanol mandate is simply bad policy,” she continued.

“This misguided policy has cost taxpayers billions of dollars, increased fuel prices, and made our food more expensive,” Coburn said. “Eliminating this mandate will let market forces, rather than political and parochial forces, determine how to diversify fuel supplies in an ever-changing marketplace.”

Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), James E. Risch (R-Idaho) and Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) are co-sponsors.

Their action came a day after two federal officials told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that future US alternative transportation fuels research, development, and deployment will concentrate on advance biofuels more compatible with existing distribution systems and engines than ethanol refined from corn (OGJ Online, Dec. 11, 2013).

Calls for reforms

At that hearing, Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the committee, called for balanced reforms in the RFS that address concerns which have emerged since the RFS was expanded under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

“The last changes to the RFS 7 years ago were based on critical economic assumptions, like rising gasoline consumption, sufficient availability of corn for fuel and food production, and industry’s ability to rapidly developed truly advanced biofuels that turned out to be false,” he said.

“The status quo is unsustainable, yet full repeal of the RFS would set back years of progress and the promise of a clean energy future and destroy thousands of sustainable jobs in a technology sector that has tremendous promise for our nation,” Cardin said, adding he has been working on reforms with several other senators from both sides of the aisle for several months.

The American Petroleum Institute immediately applauded Feinstein and Coburn’s bill. “Repealing corn ethanol mandates is the first step toward protecting consumers from outdated and costly public policy,” API Downstream Director Bob Greco said.

“EPA’s proposal to lower the 2014 mandates could provide a stopgap, but Congress needs to deliver a long-term solution to provide certainly for consumers,” he maintained. “Requirements set back in 2007 could soon push ethanol levels in gasoline above what is safe for most cars on the road today.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

FourPoint Energy to acquire Anadarko basin assets from Chesapeake

07/02/2015 FourPoint Energy LLC, a privately owned Denver company, plans to acquire oil and gas assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp. subsidiaries Chesapeake Ex...

Puma Energy completes purchase of Murco’s UK refinery, terminals

07/02/2015 Singapore-based Puma Energy Group Pte. has completed its purchase of UK midstream and downstream assets from Murco Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of ...

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices plummet on crude inventory build, Iran deadline extension

07/02/2015 Oil prices plummeted more than $2/bbl July 1 to settle at a 2-month low on the New York market after a weekly government report showed the first ri...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

SIBUR plans MTBE expansion at Togliattikauchuk

07/01/2015 Russian conglomerate OAO SIBUR Holding, Moscow, has started preparatory work for a project designed to expand production capacity for methyl tertia...

MARKET WATCH: Oil prices decline as US crude inventories post first gain in 9 weeks

07/01/2015 Oil prices on July 1 surrendered much of their gains from the day before after the release of a government report showing the first rise in US crud...
White Papers

Definitive Guide to Cybersecurity for the Oil & Gas Industry

In the Oil and Gas industry, there is no single adversary and no single threat to the information tech...

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

Better Data, Better Analytics, Better Decisions

When Tue, Oct 27, 2015

The Oil & Gas industry has large amounts of data stored in multiple systems which are purpose built for certain tasks. However, good decisions require insights based upon the data in all of these systems. These systems in turn do not talk to each other. So the process of analyzing data, gaining insights, and making decisions is a slow one and often a flawed one. Good decisions require accurate analytics and accurate analytics require superior/sustainable data quality and governance. This webinar focuses on:

  • The importance of data quality and governance
  • How technological advances are making data quality and governance sustainable in order to get the accurate analytics to make solid decisions.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Seven Lakes Technologies and Noah Consulting.


Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected