Former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray published a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal on November 23, 2021 rebuffing attempts to blame high gas prices on ethanol. He writes,
The Renewable Fuel Standard isn’t an ethanol mandate and the cost of ethanol isn’t driving gas prices 24 cents higher. Despite price rises affecting almost every commodity, ethanol is trading at only $2.20 per gallon. The base gasoline that is blended with ethanol trades at $2.28 per gallon. Mixing in a cheaper component doesn’t raise the price of anything.
Even if ethanol were costlier than wholesale gasoline, it would be of net benefit. Gray writes,
Ethanol serves the valuable role of raising the finished fuel octane number, which is essential for modern high-gas-mileage engines. Without ethanol, blenders would need to compensate with far more expensive—and toxic—aromatics to meet the same performance standards.
The full editorial, entitled No One Falls for Biden’s Gas-Price Blame Game, is available here.