Big Oil Launches A "Study" As RFS Announcement Nears

  • Friday, 16 October 2015 00:00

With the EPA expected to announce its final rule on the RFS next month, Big Oil has stepped up at is baseless attacks on ethanol and its latest attack comes in the form of a study largely based on science fiction.

Yes, this so-called study was carried out by two professors from the University of Tennessee. The study itself was commissioned by the Smarter Fuel Future coalition, a group that aligned with ethanol-hating organizations such as the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers. 

You'd think that a university conducting a study on a topic such as this would have wanted to appear objective.

In fact, you'd think a university would think twice before accepting fundings from an organization that has no problems lying to achieve its goals. In January this year, the Smarter Fuel Future coalition falsely claimed that Toyota had warned against the use of E15 in the Camry by spinning something the Japanese carmaker had actually said about its legacy models. Click here to read more.

Perhaps that's why the university stated in the study that "the findings and views expressed in this study are those of the authors" and don't represent the university's official stance.

The study itself attempts to give the impression that there aren't any environmental or economic benefits from the ethanol industry.

On the environment, the study doesn't bother using the widely-accepted GREET model to measure life-cycle emissions. Instead, it relies on discredited studies by known anti-ethanol champion, Jason Hill, from the University of Minnesota. Remember him? He's the guy who last year said that emissions from an electric car were more harmful than gasoline. Why Tesla didn't dare him to suck in the air from the tailpipe of a gasoline-powered vehicle for a couple of hours to prove his theory is beyond us.

On the economy, the study ignores other studies that have proven that the ethanol industry has had a very positive effect on the economies in rural America. The fact that the industry contributed $52.74 billion to the nation's GDP in 2014 is ignored in the study. Instead, it continues the oil industry's fictitious claims that the ethanol industry recieves subsidies through RINs.

RINs are used to comply with the RFS, which is a law. Suggesting that is a subsidy is as ridiculous as saying seatbelt manufacturers are receiving subsidies from the federal government because the law requires every car to be equipped with subsidies.

In the end, this is just another desperate attempt by the oil industry. When the facts aren't on your side, you will resort to using science fiction.