Target: Environmental Protection Agency and United States Congress
Goal: Provide economic relief to those affected by rising corn prices by relaxing the amount of corn-based ethanol required in fuel
The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it would not be relaxing the requirement for the use of corn ethanol in gasoline. Since 2007 when the U.S. began requiring a specified amount of biofuel be blended into gasoline, corn-based ethanol production has steadily increased. However, states have demanded that the amount of corn ethanol be relaxed because of a decline in corn production. Corn prices have increased and production has declined in large part to a summer drought. If the ethanol requirement remains unchanged, as the EPA has announced, then half of all U.S. corn produced will be used to meet the government standard for ethanol production. The EPA claims, however, that there is no significant threat to the economy. Regardless of the exact economic impact of corn ethanol, there is a significant environmental impact. Corn-based biofuels are not all that green, and certainly not the sustainable answer to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. The government needs to consider loosening requirements for corn ethanol and developing other sources of green fuels.
A variety of parties are frustrated with the EPA’s decision including livestock groups, the National Council of Chain Restaurants and environmental groups. The former two are concerned over land use and the price of corn, respectively, while the latter questions corn ethanol as a green fuel. When the lifecycle of corn ethanol is considered from plant to combustion as a transportation fuel, it does not reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses. According to Michal Rosenoer, a biofuels specialist at Friends of the Earth, “If the worst U.S. drought in more than 50 years and skyrocketing food prices are not enough to make the EPA act, it falls to Congress to provide relief from our senseless federal support for corn ethanol.”
If the EPA won’t reconsider its mandate for corn ethanol, Congress must intervene and revise the quota for biofuels. Other biofuel sources that use less land should be developed in lieu of corn. Please sign this petition demanding that the EPA and congress relax corn ethanol quotas.
Dear EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and members of Congress,
The recent announcement that requirements for corn ethanol would not be relaxed has angered those affected most by rising corn prices. Many corn-producing states have demanded that the amount of corn ethanol be lowered in light of declining corn production. Corn prices have increased and production has declined, due in large part to a summer drought. If the ethanol requirement remains unchanged, then half of all U.S. corn produced will be used to meet the government standard for ethanol production. Not only will this negatively impact farmers and consumers but the environment as well, since corn-based ethanol is not really a green source of transportation fuel. Please consider loosening requirements for corn ethanol and developing other sources of green fuels.
A coalition of livestock groups, the National Council of Chain Restaurants, and environmental groups all want to see lower quotas for corn ethanol in gasoline. Environmental groups are in a rare position of being on the same side as the oil industry, however not for the same reasons. Many environmental organizations argue rightly that corn ethanol does not lower greenhouse gas emissions when all of the energy inputs and land use changes are taken into account.
Please consider the economy and the environment and back the development of more efficient biofuels in place of ethanol. Corn ethanol is not the answer to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and requirements for its production need to be relaxed.
[Your Name Here]
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