Law mandating ethanol use
By 2009, nearly 11 billion gallons were produced, and in 2015 that figure rose to 14.8 billion gallons.
The 2007 energy act goes further, requiring 36 billion gallons be made by 2022.
The supply and demand in corn markets can result in volatile corn prices, which could allow prices to spike if a particular year suffers from an extended drought.
High corn prices could also drive up the price for chicken, beef, pork and other animal products that are produced in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
That nudge to get ethanol in fuel tanks was accompanied by a big shove by Congress in 2007 that mandated how much ethanol would be required to be blended into gasoline.
Now, the EPA will require 18 billion gallons of ethanol to be produced in 2016, which will add to the strain of devoting more environmental resources toward producing corn to meet these requirements.
Learn more: Ethanol Fuel Basics Fuel ethanol overview (Table 10.3).
The United States’ most important crop, corn, is grown on a massive scale.
The impact of fuel ethanol on vehicle fuel economy varies depending on the amount of denaturant that is added to the ethanol.The size of the crop influences environmental health, the country’s food system and diet and what fuels the nation’s automobiles.