Last October, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Action Aid petitioned the EPA to review the so-called renewable fuel standard that mandates that 13.8 billion gallons of corn ethanol be blended into the gasoline supply next year. The free-market think tank and global hunger charity argued that the EPA’s technical regulations implementing the mandate did not meet “basic standards of quality.”
That basically applies to all EPA rule making, though in this case the EPA was supposed to answer in 90 days. But last Thursday the agency took another 90-day extension, the third so far. “We would like to assure you that we are working diligently to provide you with a substantive response,” the EPA claimed.
Specifically, the Competitive Enterprise and Action Aid folks noted that the EPA failed to consider multiple peer-reviewed studies documenting the link between ethanol and world hunger in its public health literature review, as required by law. That includes one paper that concludes that biofuel mandates are responsible for at least 192,000 premature deaths every year. Overall more people die from chronic hunger world-wide than malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS combined.