As February begins, American refineries are anxiously awaiting federal biofuel mandates…for 2014. Yes, you read that correctly. The government has failed to set out exactly how much biofuel refiners must blend into their product for last year, let alone the current one. As the Hill reports, that has the biofuel industry in an uproar:
The federal government’s delay in implementing biodiesel mandates is causing business to lay off workers and declare bankruptcy, the industry said. […]“[W]e have been stunned and frustrated by the administration’s inaction and perceived disregard for biodiesel, [said National Biodiesel Board member Ben Wootton in a letter to EPA chief Gina McCarthy.]” Wootton said he had his own biodiesel company but uncertainty over the mandate forced him to liquidate it.
American biofuels are largely derived from corn, a process that is neither green nor efficient, and one that drives up the world’s food prices, effectively starving the world’s poor. It’s a mess of a policy imagined by the Bush Administration and dutifully tended to by President Obama—until recently, that is. Now, even the biofuel industry—the only stakeholder actually benefitting from our biofuel policy—is frustrated by this boondoggle.Here’s an easy, sensible solution: scrap the program.