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Maverick action on RFS

Lynn Grooms is an agricultural journalist living in Mt. Horeb, WI. She watches biofuels industry trends and contributes articles on the subject to Farm Industry News and Biofuels Business. She also was a contributing editor to Biofuels Journal. Grooms looks forward to the day when most vehicles on American highways are E85 capable.

Senator John McCain and the Republican National Committee want to end the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This is one maverick action that just doesn’t wash. Without the RFS, a government mandate that requires 36 billion gallons of biofuels to be blended into gasoline by 2022, the oil industry would not blend anywhere near that level and the U.S. will still be talking about its “addiction” to foreign oil a decade from now. The only reason that some oil concerns are working with renewable fuel companies now is because they “have to.” They are working with farmers because they “have to.”

Maybe the oil industry will find the answer to our energy concerns with offshore drilling? Talk about your short-term fixes.

The elimination of the RFS would not only hurt the corn ethanol industry, it would doom further research and development of cellulosic ethanol — a fuel that could reduce this country’s reliance on foreign oil and create more good-paying “green color” jobs in the Corn Belt and beyond.

Under the Bush Administration, the government has already invested $1 billion (yes, $1 billion) in cellulosic ethanol research. Should we just forget that investment and leave it up to the oil industry to determine the market ahead?

The elimination of the RFS is just plain wrong. Take it up with “The Maverick.”

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