With the start of the New Year, the Renewable Fuel Standard's Ethanol Mandate is poised once again to be one of the most discussed pieces of legislation in 2014. Touted by the Obama Administration and those on the far left as a way to curb emissions and encourage environmental preservation, the only thing the Ethanol Mandate has encouraged is environmental harm. New studies show that the Ethanol Mandate has contributed to increased pollution and the destruction of millions of acres of conservation lands. It is time for Americans to voice their concern by going to www.endtheEthanolMandate.com and demanding Congress end this failed legislation.

In recent testimony before the EPA, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) outlined their findings on the effects of the Ethanol Mandate. The EWG is one of the far left's most revered interest groups as well as a strong Obama supporter. The main points of the EWG's testimony are highlighted below:

  1. From 2008-2011, the corn ethanol mandate contributed to the loss of 23 million acres of wetlands and grasslands – an area the size of Indiana.
  2. In places where the loss of wetlands has been greatest, corn accounts for most of this conversion – 68%, or more than 236,000 acres.
  3. Farmers have increased nitrogen fertilizer use, which washes off fields, contributes to poor water quality, and increases water treatment costs creating low-oxygen or "dead zones."
  4. Increased fertilizer use has caused contamination of surface and ground water, which causes "hypoxia, algal blooms, eutrophication" and depletion of aquifers and streams.
  5. On a well-to-wheel basis, "producing a gallon of gasoline consumes far less water than producing a gallon of corn ethanol."

The EWG's findings are only affirmed by a report released last month by the Associated Press. The AP found that the Ethanol Mandate had destroyed millions of acres  of conservation land and increased pollution from nitrogen fertilizers by the billions. The main findings of the AP's study are outlined below:

  1. 5 million acres of conservation land – "more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined" – have vanished under Obama's watch.
  2. In the first year after the ethanol mandate, more than 2 million acres disappeared.
  3. Between 2005-2010, "corn farmers increased their use of nitrogen fertilizer by more than 1 billion pounds." Since 2010, nitrogen fertilizer use is projected to increase another 1-billion pounds.
  4. Increased spraying has pumped out billions of pounds of fertilizers, some of which seep into drinking water, contaminate rivers and worsen the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
  5. Nitrates from the Midwest travel down river to the Gulf of Mexico, contributing to the "Dead Zone" that now covers more than 5,800 square miles.
  6. Studies by Texas A&M University officials found the "ethanol mandate has worsened the dead zone" each year since its inception.

The findings above show that the Ethanol Mandate of the RFS has exacerbated pollution and destruction of conservation lands. Typically environmental policy is created to protect the environment. Let Congress know the Ethanol Mandate is not working by going to www.endtheEthanolMandate.com. As long as the Ethanol Mandate remains good policy, the environment will continue to suffer.