Liberal Dem: EPA’s Biofuel Program Is a ‘Flop’

Rep. Peter Welch calls ethanol program inefficient

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s program to boost biofuel in the United States is a "flop" and should be scrapped, Rep. Peter Welch (D., Vt.) said at a National Journal event Wednesday.

Republicans have long criticized the EPA’s renewable fuel standards, which require gas refiners to mix biofuels with conventional gasoline. Welch’s remarks, originally reported in the Hill, are at odds with the Obama administration’s stance on the program.

Welch said that the EPA’s renewable fuel standard drives up the cost of corn, raising prices for livestock producers. He also said it actually hurts the environment.

"It's been a flop, and the amount of energy that goes into producing a gallon of ethanol is a lot," Welch said. "Twenty-eight gallons of water to produce a gallon of gas, 170 gallons, I guess, to produce a gallon of ethanol."

"There’s not been an environment benefit; there’s actually been an environmental detriment and there’s been an economic detriment to many sectors of the economy, even though there’s been a significant benefit to the Corn Belt," Welch said.

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