Their ultimate goal is simple. As Mother Jones magazine put it, “if Washington acts strongly on climate, the impact will extend far beyond Washington…. The more these Pacific coast states are unified, the more the United States and even the world will have to take notice.”
But to what end? In a world that is surging ahead economically, to lift billions out of abject poverty and disease – with over 80% of the energy provided by coal, oil, and natural gas – few countries (or states) are likely to follow. They would be crazy to do so. Supposed environmental and climate benefits will therefore be few–whereas damage to economies, families, and habitats will be extensive.
The Oregonian says the LCFS is “ultimately a complicated way of forcing people who use conventional fuels to subsidize those who use low-carbon fuels. It’s a hidden tax to support ‘green’ transportation. It will raise fuel prices … create a costly compliance burden … [and] harm Oregon’s competitiveness far more than it will help the environment. And that assumes it works as intended.” It will not and cannot.
LCFS laws will raise the cost of motor fuels by up to 170% over the next ten years – on top of all the other price hikes like minimum wages and the $1.86 trillion in total annual federal (only) regulatory compliance costs that businesses and families already have to pay – the Charles River Associates economic forecasting firm calculates. If these LCFS standards were applied nationally, CRA concluded, they would also destroy between 2.5 million and 4.5 million American jobs.
Ethanol gets 30% less mileage than gasoline, so motorists pay the same price per tank but can drive fewer miles. It collects water, clogs fuel lines, corrodes engine parts, and wreaks havoc on lawn mowers and other small engines. E15 fuel blends (15% ethanol) exacerbate these problems; and low-carbon mandates (“goals”) would likely require 20% ethanol and biodiesel blends, trucking and other groups point out.
Those blends would void vehicle engine warranties and cause extensive damages and repair costs. The higher fuel costs would affect small business expansion, hiring, profitability, and survival. The impact of lost jobs, repair costs, and soaring food and fuel bills will hit poor and minority families especially hard.
Some farmers make a lot of money off ethanol. However, beef, pork, chicken, egg, and fish producers must pay more for feed, which means family food bills go up. Biofuel mandates also mean international aid agencies must pay more for corn and wheat, so more starving people remain malnourished longer.
Biofuels harm the environment. America has at least a century of petroleum right under our feet, right here in the United States; but “renewable” energy advocates don’t want us to lease, drill, frack, or use that energy. However, the per-acre energy from biofuels is minuscule compared to what we get from oil and gas production. In fact, to grow corn for ethanol, we are already plowing an area bigger than Iowa – millions of acres that could be food crops or wildlife habitat. To meet the latest biodiesel mandate of 1.3 billion gallons, producers will have to extract oil from 430 million bushels of soybeans – which means converting countless more acres from food or habitat to energy.
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