A false narrative about ethanol

Nan Swift’s recent opinion submission (“Big ethanol’s fuel mandate costs American taxpayers millions,” Aug. 24) is based on a false narrative from a lobbyist whose trade group opposes the renewable fuel standard (RFS) — a national policy that requires a growing percentage of biofuels to be blended into gasoline. The truth is taxpayers and consumers benefit when renewable fuels displace petroleum.

Ms. Swift claims the RFS is a “burden” for U.S. taxpayers. But that is demonstrably untrue. The U.S. ethanol industry has not received a dime in federal subsidies since 2011. The same cannot be said for big oil, which receives $4 billion–$6 billion per year in subsidies.

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The RFS has been an unmitigated success, helping to clean the air, boost local economies and provide a choice at the pump. According to a recent analysis by Iowa State University, in 2015 the RFS saved the U.S. economy $17.8 billion in gasoline expenses, equivalent to $142 per American household. Meanwhile, gasoline prices were 18 cents per gallon lower in 2015 due to the RFS, while crude oil imports were nearly 200 million barrels lower in 2015 than if there was no RFS.

Ms. Swift pushes for a free market without acknowledging the obvious — that without the RFS, there would be zero competition at the pump, leaving consumers with no choice but conventional fuel.

Consumers benefit from a policy that provides a cleaner, lower cost and higher octane fuel with ethanol. We want to make sure the RFS continues and that Big Oil doesn’t limit consumers’ ability to choose the fuel they want.

From Bob Dinneen, president and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association, Washington, D.C.


John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSteve Schmidt: 'Overwhelming chance that Trump will dump Pence' for Haley Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Sanders proposes expanded Veterans Affairs services, B to rebuild infrastructure MORE’s sudden interest in checking presidential power

In his Aug. 31 op-ed, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wrote, “We must be diligent in discharging our responsibility to serve as a check on [President Trump’s] power.” Where was McCain when President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaSaagar Enjeti rips Buttigieg for praising Obama after misquote Steyer scores endorsement from key New Hampshire activist Saagar Enjeti dismisses Warren, Klobuchar claims of sexism MORE was enacting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or the ObamaCare subsidies to insurance companies or the transgender executive order to all schools receiving federal money? The list goes on.

But why didn’t McCain serve as a check on those actions? Could it possibly be that he agreed with Obama on all of these? We finally have Republican majorities in the House and the Senate and a president who says get him some legislation on the three major items of the Republican platform and he will sign them. Why does McCain vote down the first of these? Who knows, but he is not the “maverick” but a Democrat posing as a Republican. Sure couldn’t prove different by his actions.

From Allen West, San Diego, Calif.


Don’t forget health of children, seniors in aftermath of Harvey

Now that Hurricane Harvey has passed, the enormous task of rebuilding greater Houston begins.  It’s going to take years for the region to return to its former self.  That said, it will be critical to monitor the health of the affected area’s children and elderly.  If the past truly is prologue to the future, then doctors and hospitals are going to be inundated with sick kids and seniors soon.

I am confident Congress will appropriate billions of dollars to repair Houston’s roads, homes and businesses. I hope no one on Capitol Hill forgets that billions more are going to be needed to nurse tens of thousands of young and older victims back to health.

From Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach, Calif.