The unintended consequences of energy policy have been the focus of widespread public discussion in recent years, with everything from solar bankruptcies to the ethanol business coming under fire for receiving government funding that critics said makes the energy source a source of disruption in markets.
The unintended consequences can filter into unlikely areas, with rising costs for inputs into government-mandated fuels driving up costs to competing industries and contributing to the breakdown of established supply chains. The analysts at Smarter Fuel Future, an advocacy group that counts the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers among its members, have laid out some of the unintended consequences they say Americans face as part of the country’s efforts to comply with the 2007-era Renewable Fuel Standard.
Required levels of ethanol production under the RFS come in for particular criticism, as they involve tradeoffs between availability of the alternative fuel and food supply.
“In December, the National Association of Chain Restaurants released a study, which estimates that by 2015, when the RFS is fully phased-in, the mandate will increase total costs for chain restaurant owners by up to $3.2 billion per year,” Smarter Fuel Future said in releasing an infographic detailing the costs it says Americans face.
To see the full infographic on Smarter Fuel Future’s site, click here.