We don't need to,and with the drought and population growth we shouldn't use farm land to grow fuel.
There are plenty of better options, like- http://www.proterro.com , Safe new,better nuclear- http://www.terrapower.com -http://www.airfuelsynthesis.com/ and /www.proterro.com/ sugar production for biofuels-- that we should support and fast track.
But the RFS mandates stifle better options by forcing us to use billions of gallons,of corn ethanol and other land source energy.
Everyone should sign the PLEDGE at http://smarterfuelfuture.org/ .
The highly respected OECD said. "The rush to energy crops threatens to cause food shortages and damage to biodiversity with limited benefits … Government policies supporting and protecting domestic production of biofuels are inefficient [and] not cost effective … The current push to expand the use of biofuels is creating unsustainable tensions that will disrupt markets without generating significant environmental benefits … Governments should cease creating new mandates for biofuels and investigate ways to phase them out." - Richard Doornbosch and Ronald Steenblik, "Biofuels: Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?" in Round Table on Sustainable Development (OECD, Sep 11-12, 2007).
M Covault, I respectfully disagree with you, aside from the fact that I'm not sure why our government would be interested in a "boondoggle" of this sort, I haven't seen any damage being done to animal agriculture. You may not know that one of the by-products of the production of ethanol is high quality animal feed!
Also, the production of corn has increased so much in the last few years - not because more land is being dedicated to it, but because of vastly improved seed types allowing for denser planting and larger production per plant. This has meant that the quantity of corn needed for other uses has not been reduced.
I have not seen any ill effect on engines as yet - ethanol has been an additive in many States, including Illinois, for quite a few years. The automobile manufacturing industry seems to have adjusted the mechanics of cars to accommodate ethanol.
I believe this is just another government boondoggle that is negatively affecting animal agriculture and other industries that use corn products. The ethanol is not good for engines long term.