The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
26 Senators Tell EPA to Cut Ethanol Mandate Due to Drought-Stricken Corn Crop
On Aug. 7 a bipartisan group of 26 senators urged U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to use her authority to reduce the corn ethanol mandate in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
With record droughts spreading across the country, corn harvests are shrinking and food prices are spiking. In 2012 the RFS requires the use of 13.2 billion gallons of corn ethanol as transportation fuel, meaning that almost half the corn in the U.S. will be used for fuel instead of food this year.
The letter cites U.S. Department of Agriculture data that recently rated only 23 percent of the corn crop as good to excellent and 50 percent as poor to very poor because of persistent extreme heat and drought.
Senators signing the letter are: Kay Hagan (D-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), John Boozman (R-AR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kay Hutchison (R-TX), Tom Carper (D-DE), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jim Webb (D-VA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tom Coburn (R-OK), John McCain (R-AZ), Crapo (R-ID), James Risch (R-ID), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).
The senators’ letter joins a growing chorus of calls for Jackson to reduce the federal biofuels mandate. Last week, a bipartisan group of 156 members of the House of Representatives sent a similar letter, urging the EPA to act immediately to reduce the RFS mandate in response to the severe anticipated corn shortage.
Corn ethanol's promises are drying up right along side crops this year. We applaud these senators for taking a stand against a dangerous and dirty fuel. It's time for EPA to reduce the corn ethanol mandate and for Congress to reconsider all federal supports for ethanol.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Elizabeth Pratt
- Hormel, Kellogg's, and Kroger are among the large companies now planning to offer "fake meat" products at grocery stores.
- Experts say the trend toward plant-based meats coincides with consumers' desires to eat less meat.
- However, experts urge consumers to closely check package labels as a product isn't necessarily healthy just because it's described as plant-based.
In grocery stores and fast-food outlets around the U.S., a revolution is taking place.
Many of us think of the Amazon as an untouched wilderness, but people have been thriving in these diverse environments for millennia. Due to this long history, the knowledge that Indigenous and forest communities pass between generations about plants, animals and forest ecology is incredibly rich and detailed and easily dwarfs that of any expert.
By Wesley Rahn
Plastic byproducts were found in 97 percent of blood and urine samples from 2,500 children tested between 2014 and 2017, according to a study by the German Environment Ministry and the Robert Koch Institute.
Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, MS, NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS
Hot yoga has become a popular exercise in recent years. It offers many of the same benefits as traditional yoga, such as stress reduction, improved strength, and flexibility.
The Trump administration has initialized the final steps to open up nearly 1.6 million acres of the protected Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to allow oil and gas drilling.