E15 ethanol mandates would bring huge benefits – for the few, at the expense of the many - If 10% ethanol in gasoline is good, 15% (E15) will be even better. At least for some folks.
We’re certainly heading in that direction – thanks to animosity toward oil, natural gas and coal, fear-mongering about global warming, and superlative lobbying for 'alternative,' 'affordable,' 'eco-friendly' biofuels. Whether the trend continues, and what unintended consequences will be unleashed, will depend on Corn Belt versus consumer politics and whether more people recognize the downsides of ethanol.
Federal laws currently require that fuel suppliers blend more and more ethanol into gasoline, until the annual total rises from 9 billion gallons of EtOH in 2008 to 36 billion in 2022. The national Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) also mandates that corn-based ethanol tops out at 15 billion gallons a year, and the rest comes from 'advanced biofuels' – fuels produced from switchgrass, forest products and other non-corn feedstocks, and having 50% lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum.