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Ohio Utica Shale

12 free-market groups opposing break for ethanol from natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: June 27, 2013

From the Competitive Enterprise Institute on Wednesday:

Twelve free-market public policy organizations today released a joint letter urging House Members to oppose H.R. 1959, The Domestic Alternative Fuels Act of 2013. The bill would allow ethanol derived from natural gas to count toward the federal government’s mandatory blending targets established by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the EPA’s implementing regulations.

While commending Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) and his co-sponsors for seeking to break “the corn lobby’s legal monopoly on a significant and growing share of the U.S. motor fuel market,” the coalition letter argues that the solution is to repeal market-rigging regulations, not empower another special interest to share in the spoils.

H.R. 1959 would compound, not alleviate, the worst unintended consequences of the RFS program. Such undesirable side-effects include skyrocketing grain prices and potentially volatile fuel prices as the RFS compels refiners to sell more ethanol than can safely be blended into conventional gasoline (the “blend wall” problem).

As CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis explains: “Enacting this bill would align the natural gas lobby with the corn lobby. Their common interest would be to increase the overall RFS blending target beyond 36 billion gallons, mandate the sale of E20 or even higher ethanol blends, and relax environmental criteria so that corn- and gas-based ethanol can fill the void created by non-existent advanced biofuels. Expanding the RFS in these ways would likely drive up both fuel and grain prices and make them more volatile.”

The organizations issuing the joint letter are: 60 Plus, American Commitment, Americans for Prosperity, American Energy Alliance, Club for Growth, Commonwealth Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Freedom Action, FreedomWorks, Frontiers of Freedom, Let Freedom Ring, and National Taxpayers Union.



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Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.