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Consumers Lose

Thursday, April 19, 2012

EWG and other environmental groups sent lawmakers a letter today (April 19) opposing the Domestic Fuels Protection Act of 2012 (H.R. 4345) and its companion, the Domestic Fuels Act of 2012 (S. 2264). The bill would provide a broad exemption from legal liability to fuel producers, engine manufacturers and retailers of virtually all transportation fuels and fuel additives – including gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol, or E15.

The ethanol industry’s push for these bills is a glaring admission that E15 is a faulty product. Rather than creating a better fuel, the ethanol industry wants consumers and taxpayers to foot the bill for any harms caused by E15.

Sheila Karpf, EWG legislative and policy analyst.

These bills, the subject of today’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, would undermine state consumer protection laws, immunize makers of defective fuel products and shield owners and operators of leaking underground storage tanks from legal action.

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Table Scraps

- 36 Minnesota groups sent a letter to the Minnesota congressional delegation urging that the 2012 farm bill “Provide sound and robust funding for voluntary conservation programs” among other reasonable requests.

-       Reuters reports that “a coalition of more than 2,000 U.S. farmers and food companies said Wednesday it is taking legal action to force government regulators to analyze potential problems with proposed biotech crops and the weed-killing chemicals to be sprayed over them.”

-       In a laughable effort to persuade Americans that corn ethanol and NASCAR are both good for the environment, NASCAR team owner Richard Childress claims that “today's ethanol producers are able to reduce emissions compared to gasoline by nearly 60 percent.” In October 2011, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that corn ethanol production increases greenhouse gas emissions.

-       Gannett’s Christopher Doering writes that, “U.S. lawmakers downplayed Tuesday the possibility of extending the current farm bill after it expires this fall, providing further evidence that House Republicans focused on cutting government spending will play a major role in steering the legislation.”

Tweet of the day:

@drgrist The proper reaction to "we're cutting food stamps to reduce the deficit" is loud, derisive laughter.

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