The Edmond Sun


October 31, 2013

Ease of government regulation dropped gas prices significantly

EDMOND — Congressman James Lankford was asked Thursday if there is momentum to remove federal subsidies for the production of corn ethanol in the U.S.

Lankford spoke Thursday to students and guests of the Herbert W. Armstrong College, located north of Waterloo Road off of Bryant Avenue.

“We literally are burning our food up,” said Lankford, R-Edmond.

The use of corn and other biomass to make ethanol suitable for mixing with gasoline began as a way to promote energy independence, Lankford said. One problem with regulation is that a standard was set in 2007 for the number of gallons to be used in the U.S., based on the projected use of gasoline, said Lankford, chairman of the House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy Policy.

When the recession came, people started driving less and consuming less gasoline. More fuel-efficient cars are in use today, Lankford said. However, the requirement to boost ethanol production did not change, Lankford said.

“What happens is gas prices continue to go up, not because gasoline is going up, but because you can’t burn enough ethanol,” he explained.

The requirement to produce more ethanol continued to climb due to federal regulation. The trade-in value of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) or ethanol credits, went from half-a-cent to more than $1 for a RIN, Lankford said.

“It’s crazy. This is supposed to help us and it’s killing our economy; it’s choking us out,” Lankford said.

The free market is a better way to drive energy independence, Lankford said. People will grow corn only if it makes economic sense. It doesn’t yet, he added.

Lankford pointed out that gas prices dropped a month ago from about $3.50 a gallon to nearer $3 a gallon. Two things changed the market, he said.

“One is we shifted to a winter blend. The EPA gives us more latitude on it,” Lankford said. “And the second thing was, we actually got a waiver from the administration to do a waiver on the amount of ethanol that would be used.” Lankford’s subcommittee was instrumental in pushing the Obama administration for the waiver, he said.

“They did that waiver and in about three days, the price of gasoline dropped about 40 cents purely because of government regulations,” Lankford said.

This illustrates how much federal government regulations can impact the lives of Americans, Lankford said. A long-term remedy is not in sight as the U.S. Senate has no interest in modifying federal subsidies for the production of ethanol, Lankford said.

“I’ve got a bill that I’m actually a co-sponsor of to repeal that entire fuel manufacturer mandate — all of it — to say there’s no reason to do that. Let the market drive it,” Lankford said.

Although federal law requires the manufacturing of 1 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol, a biofuel made from wood, grasses or plants, only 6 million gallons were manufactured in the U.S., Lankford said.

“You cannot legislate innovation,” Lankford said. “You can’t make a law to invent something and suddenly the market is going to run and create that.”

President Barack Obama has said his Strategy for American Innovation will harness the ingenuity of the American people for economic growth.

“What we can do — what America does better than anyone else — is spark the creativity and imagination of our people,” Obama said in 2011.

In November, the White House set new fuel standards to increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.4 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by model year 2025, according to

The Obama Administration today finalized groundbreaking standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by model year 2025. When combined with previous standards set by this Administration, this move will nearly double the fuel efficiency of those vehicles compared to new vehicles currently on our roads. In total, the Administration’s national program to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels.

 “These fuel standards represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said President Obama. “This historic agreement builds on the progress we’ve already made to save families money at the pump and cut our oil consumption.” | 341-2121

Text Only
  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 19, 2014

  • Dr. Fielding’s variance denied by close vote

    Reverse-angle parking will continue at the 13 N. University Drive office of Dr. Brad Fielding. The Edmond City Council rejected a variance request by the local optometrist to end the city’s pilot project in front of his medical facility.
    Councilman Nick Massey and Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell supported Fielding’s variance request that was dismissed in a 3-2 vote.
    Four parking lines were striped late last year at Fielding’s business after the city opened new bicycle lanes along University. The city cites the safety for bicyclists and motorists who traditionally depart while backing into traffic as the main reasons for introducing reverse-angle parking.

    April 15, 2014

  • Sequoyah Sequoyah names students of the month

    Sequoyah teachers chose the following students as students of the month for being good role models, conscientious students, diligent workers, and respectful individuals

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCU planning Earth Day activities

    Oklahoma City University will celebrate Earth Day with events on April 22. The events are free to the public and will be in the McDaniel University Center near Florida Avenue and Northwest 26th Street.

    April 12, 2014

  • Ruff Draft Student newspaper, magazines take top honors at contest

    Ruff Draft, the student newspaper produced by staffs at all three Edmond high schools, recently took top honors in the Oklahoma Scholastic Media competition, which is conducted in coordination with the Gaylord School of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Art Show UCO puts the spotlight on design graduates

    The University of Central Oklahoma Department of Design will present “Defeaters of Dull: The Design Senior Show” from 6-8 p.m. April 17 at the First National Center, 120 N. Robinson Ave., Suite 730W, in downtown Oklahoma City.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gala to celebrate global programs

    The University of Central Oklahoma’s Office of Global Affairs will present the International House Night Market Gala from 6-9 p.m. April 18 at the UCO International House, 912 N. Chowning Ave. in Edmond, just north of the main campus.
    Now in its second year, the gala’s 2014 theme is “A Fusion of Art and Cultural Storytelling.”
    Attendees will enjoy dinner, live and silent auctions, entertainment and the presentation of the award for Promoting Cross-Cultural Understanding to Pam Washington, Ph.D., dean of Central’s College of Fine Arts and Design, as well as the recognition of Zhongying Wang, president of Tiptop Energy Production US LLC, as a top contributor to Cross-Cultural Understanding.

    April 12, 2014

  • Oklahoma Christian presents band, orchestra concerts

    The Oklahoma Christian University music department will present its final instrumental concerts of the school year next week.

    April 12, 2014

  • safety 5.jpg 500-plus Edmond students visit safety village

    More than 500 local students have learned about safety from Edmond firefighters in recent days.
    Mid-day Friday, students from Washington Irving Elementary School were at the Edmond Fire Department’s Children’s Safety Village, a child-size, life safety education center where children learn in a hands-on environment. The village is complete with a city park, buildings, streets, traffic lights, a railroad crossing, a water feature and utility-like infrastructure.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edmond student named National Achievement Scholarship winner

    National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced this week the names of about 800 outstanding Black American high school seniors who have won Achievement Scholarship® awards through the National Achievement Scholarship Program. These awards, totaling more than $2 million, are financed by grants from 31 corporate organizations and professional associations, and by National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

    April 11, 2014