The Latest Unanticipated Consequence in the Ethanol Fiasco
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Until recently, the 2007 ethanol mandates have been a story of very small environmental and security benefits and large, unexpected increases in food prices as corn was diverted from food to fuel uses. Now we have another unforeseen consequence —falling gasoline consumption has made it impossible to meet the ethanol mandates and stay within the blend wall of a 10% limit on ethanol content in gasoline. To meet ever-increasing ethanol mandates, the EPA initially approved the use of 15% ethanol (E15) only to receive a vigorous push-back from auto manufacturers. Using E15 would void their new car warranties. Then on November 15, EPA proposed a temporary relaxation in the mandated ethanol targets enabling the continued use of E10. The EPA has found itself between the proverbial rock and a hard place. How did the EPA find itself in this predicament and what are the solutions?
Griffin, James M. (2013). The Latest Unanticipated Consequence in the Ethanol Fiasco. Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics & Public Policy. Available electronically from