Hawaii governor David Ige took a welcome step towards consumer choice when he signed a bill earlier this month repealing the state’s ethanol mandate – a requirement to blend the Aloha State’s gasoline supply with ten percent ethanol.

Enacted in 2006, the state mandate aimed to create an ethanol industry in Hawaii, and reap the supposed environmental benefits of ethanol. However, the Hawaiian experiment is the latest in a long line of examples of high hopes being betrayed by reality.

Environmental concerns were raised about both the destruction of forests to make way for corn, and the fact that ethanol continues to be imported from elsewhere.

The local ethanol industry also failed to take off, despite the state offering tax credits for its production. Consumers also voiced their disapproval, complaining of lower gas mileages from the blended fuel.

The case of Hawaii is another example of the unintended consequences of the fatally flawed RFS. The case of Hawaii also shows yet again that the only remedy is to repeal the federal mandate.

Unfortunately, until Congress repeals the federal mandate, Hawaii’s consumers will not have access to the fuels they are clamoring for.