Gore admits the obvious: US corn ethanol was not a good policy

Do not expect to read much about this in the NY Times — and definitely don’t expect any follow up questions about his motivation for climate policy ($$$).  Former Vice President Al Gore has admitted that his “support for corn-based ethanol in the United States was “not a good policy”, weeks before tax credits are up for renewal.”

Gore was the tie-breaking vote in the Senate mandating the use of ethanol in 1994.

From Reuters:

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol,” said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.

“First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

“It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

He continues (admitting more of the obvious):

“One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.”

However, don’t make the mistake that he has had an epiphany on climate change:

Gore supported so-called second generation technologies which do not compete with food, for example cellulosic technologies which use chemicals or enzymes to extract sugar from fibre for example in wood, waste or grass.

“I do think second and third generation that don’t compete with food prices will play an increasing role, certainly with aviation fuels.”

Gore added did that he did not expect a U.S. clean energy or climate bill for “at least two years” following the mid-term elections which saw Republicans increase their support.

Again, the Democrats had 60 seats in the Senate, which is a filibuster proof majority and Pelosi controlled the House of Representatives with members to spare for most of 2009.  They could have passed whatever they wanted.  At least two years is translated:  maybe in 2012 if Obama is re-elected, the Dems take back the House, and they don’t lose the Senate.  In other words, the bill is dead.

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126 thoughts on “Gore admits the obvious: US corn ethanol was not a good policy

  1. Oh great, now he figures it out, after sticking it to the poorest of the poor across the entire planet, who can barely (and sometimes not) afford just to eat enough to survive. Lord save us from the humanitarians.

  2. The EPA is already pushing 15% ethanol. Of course ethanol damages outboard motors and other engines. So what. It takes a lot of petrol to create ethanol. With grain prices going up, it is becoming a losing situation.

  3. Here’s a clue. The first alternative fuel that is worth doing will be the one that companies fall over themselves to do, WITHOUT SUBSIDY.

  4. Al Gore has NO fondness for farmers he has always had plans to get rid of US farmers.

    I walked into the USDA Extension Service office when he was VP one day to hear one of the agents in an absolute rage. He had been to Al Gore’s presentation of Future Farmer Awards and had actually heard Al Gore’s comment to a youngster to get out of farming, there would be no more farming in the USA. That was the day I woke up to the fact that the USA was not the land of the free anymore.

    Here is the quote from the Ag Journal, Billings, Montana:
    “At a recent ceremony at the White House, Vice President and presidential candidate Al Gore let slip what many have long believed was his real intention as regards to U.S. agriculture.

    “While presenting a national award to a Colorado FFA member, Gore asked the student what his/her life plans were. Upon hearing that the FFA member wanted to continue on in production agriculture, Gore reportedly replied that the young person should develop other plans because our production agriculture is being shifted out of the U.S. to the Third World.” http://showcase.netins.net/web/sarahb/farm/

    And here is one of the bills that is going to fullfill Al Gore’s prophesy – there will be no more freedom to farm in the USA.

    “Senate bill 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the US. It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.

    “If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” ~Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower…”

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/2502647/posts

    Another view of the bill: http://prof77.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/senate-bill-510-the-food-safety-modernization-act-restricting-small-farmers-to-protect-profits-of-giant-food-companies/

    Here is WHY there will be no more farming. The ultimate goal is to make the USA into a huge nature preserve. MAP

    Of course you have to get rid of a lot of people to do so but Stalin came up with an easy way

  5. So hes now going to apologise to people who had to pay more for food because of his selfish stupidity.

  6. As usual, my comment will sound childish, but I’ll tell you what – the price of ear corn went from 6 ears for a dollar to 50-75 cents an ear, in about 5 years. That’s when I knew this was a bad policy.

    Same with stupid biodiesel. Or hydrogen from water. Just plain silly. These people have done more harm than good. They have allowed people the Pollyanna belief that they can drive cars with no consequences. And, they are jacking up the prices of simple foods, silly, silly, silly.

    Thanks Anthony, been enjoying your blog alot lately!

  7. Nice, hundreds of thousands of people,(maybe millions) including myself, screaming about how bad of an idea this was only to be ignored. Now he’s acting as if this policy wasn’t intentionally harmful and was unforeseeable? No, but what it is was…..unforgivable. F’n dirtbag.

  8. And since the first Tennessee DuPont Tate & Lyle plant formed in 2004 and the second started in 2008, it sure was a fast acting process.

  9. Fat Albert is sure a wizzzzzzzzz! First he figured it was the greatest thing since Betsy Grab-le the Massuese; now that she’s saying all kinds of off-color things about him, he’s changed his script and plans to sell ethanol short and reap a bundle. What a guy! What a World-class guy! Don’t ya’ wish we had a village of them? What a guy!

  10. Al needs to bone up on cellulosic, algae, etc. None of them are any damn good for a variety of technical, environmental, and economic reasons.

  11. “It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

    Just about sums up the entire Climate Change Industry

  12. Gore should have spent more time reading the peer-reviewed literature,

    Ethanol Fuels: Energy Balance, Economics, and Environmental Impacts Are Negative
    (Natural Resources Research, Volume 12, Number 2, pp. 127-134, June 2003)
    - David Pimentel

    “In the U.S. ethanol system, considerably more energy, including high-grade fossil fuel, is required to produce ethanol than is available in the energy-ethanol output. Specifically about 29% more energy is used to produce a gallon of ethanol than the energy in a gallon of ethanol. Fossil energy powers corn production and the fermentation/distillation processes. Increasing subsidized ethanol production will take more feed from livestock production, and is estimated to currently cost consumers an additional 1 billion per year. Ethanol production increases environmental degradation. Corn production causes more total soil erosion than any other crop. Also, corn production uses more insecticides, herbicides, and nitrogen fertilizers than any other crop. All these factors degrade the agricultural and natural environment and contribute to water pollution and air pollution. Increasing the cost of food and diverting human food resources to the costly inefficient production of ethanol fuel raise major ethical questions. These occur at a time when more than half of the world’s population is malnourished. The ethical priority for corn and other food crops should be for food and feed. Subsidized ethanol produced from U.S. corn is not a renewable energy source.”

    Food Versus Biofuels: Environmental and Economic Costs
    (Human Ecology, Volume 37, Number 1, pp. 1-12, February 2009)
    - David Pimentel et al.

    “Growing crops for fuel squanders land, water and energy resources vital for the production of food for human consumption. Using corn for ethanol increases the price of US beef, chicken, pork, eggs, breads, cereals, and milk more than 10% to 30%. In addition, Jacques Diouf, Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, reports that using food grains to produce biofuels is already causing food shortages for the poor of the world.”

    Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change
    (Science, Volume 319, Number 5867, pp. 1238-1240, February 2008)
    - Timothy Searchinger et al.

    “Most prior studies have found that substituting biofuels for gasoline will reduce greenhouse gases because biofuels sequester carbon through the growth of the feedstock. These analyses have failed to count the carbon emissions that occur as farmers worldwide respond to higher prices and convert forest and grassland to new cropland to replace the grain (or cropland) diverted to biofuels. By using a worldwide agricultural model to estimate emissions from land-use change, we found that corn-based ethanol, instead of producing a 20% savings, nearly doubles greenhouse emissions over 30 years and increases greenhouse gases for 167 years. Biofuels from switchgrass, if grown on U.S. corn lands, increase emissions by 50%. This result raises concerns about large biofuel mandates and highlights the value of using waste products.”

  13. So now you wanna make it from cellulose (cotton, etc.) ….DO YOU KNOW that cellulose is made out of CO2?!!!!. You screwed all the way!. Please DO NOT TRY TO THINK, YOU JUST CAN’T.

  14. Per Strandberg says:
    November 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

    You mean, because I needed votes from farmers in an election, the cost of basic food in third world countries doubled?
    Darn!
    That’s life, let them eat cake!
    ______________________________________________________
    They (Clinton and Gore) $crewed over the US farmer too. To make sure there was plenty of grain to be used as an economic weapon against third world farmers, Dan Amstutz, VP of the grain trader Cargill, wrote the “Freedom to Farm Act” of 1996. It was later dubbed the “freedom to FAIL act” Then came the Grain to bio-fuel fiasco. Is any one surprised that both Monsanto AND Cargill posted record earning in 2008 while the rest of the economy was in a recession?

    Freedom to Fail: http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2000/00july-aug/lilliston.html

    “…according to Sheila Ehrich, a farmer from Elmore, Minnesota, it is the large grain buyers who have reaped the benefits of Freedom to Farm, not farmers themselves. “Cargill is buying corn damn cheap –”
    Freedom to Farm’s lower commodity prices have not translated into consumer benefits. Since 1984, the real price of a USDA market basket of food has increased 2.8 percent while the farm value of that food has fallen by 35.7 percent, according to C. Robert Taylor, professor of agriculture and public policy at Auburn University. Taylor says there is a “widening gap” between retail price and farm value for numerous components of the market basket, including meat products, poultry, eggs, dairy products, cereal and bakery products, fresh fruit and vegetables, and processed fruit and vegetables…

  15. What Poptech said. And for all biofuels.

    Study from 2005: David Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek, Natural Resources Research (Vol. 14:1, 65-76) “Ethanol Production Using Corn, Switchgrass, and Wood; Biodiesel Production Using Soybean and Sunflower

    Abstract
    Energy outputs from ethanol produced using corn, switchgrass, and wood biomass were each less than the respective fossil energy inputs. The same was true for producing biodiesel using soybeans and sunflower, however, the energy cost for producing soybean biodiesel was only slightly negative compared with ethanol production. Findings in terms of energy outputs compared with the energy inputs were: • Ethanol production using corn grain required 29% more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced. • Ethanol production using switchgrass required 50% more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced. • Ethanol production using wood biomass required 57% more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced. • Biodiesel production using soybean required 27% more fossil energy than the biodiesel fuel produced (Note, the energy yield from soy oil per hectare is far lower than the ethanol yield from corn). • Biodiesel production using sunflower required 118% more fossil energy than the biodiesel fuel produced

  16. “It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

    Why is it that modern politicians are absolute suckers for a vested interest… except that of the taxpayer?

  17. If people want to use corn as a biofuel, then they should burn it for heat in a corn stove. They can get about 7,000 btu’s per pound of corn kernels at an efficiency of 70-85 percent. I’m not saying this is a good way to go. It is just a much better use of corn than ethanol. And no subsidies are required.

  18. *sigh*

    Isn’t this what the alternative-energy skeptics have been saying for years about corn-based ethanol? Don’t answer…it was a rhetorical question.

    Al Gore: dumb as a sack of hammers (with apologies to hammers).

    Please forgive my childish name-calling, but these sorts of stories really grind my gears. Gore is acting as if his sudden epiphany should be news to everybody. But, for him to act as if the consequences of his policies were not foreseeable is simply — gobsmacking.

  19. Man-Bear-Pig admits one error, but can’t see back to how his entire thesis is founded on quicksand. Why should I listen to a man who can’t tell the difference between cm and mm?

  20. Gore wrong again.

    1. The energy balance may not be great but it is still postive

    2. Energy balance is not everything. There is a shortage of liquid fuels to drive cars, but abundance of other fuels such as coal, uranium etc. Corn ethanol helps to close the price gap, it is much better than coal liquidification and reduces oil imorts from ugly regimes in the middle east and venezuela.

    3. Corn ethanol has helped to stabilize corn prices and provide good income for US farmers and affiliated industry workers.

    5. Heartland people hate Al Gore. This is just his primitive reaction.

  21. Pity the investors that dropped billions on the ethanol plants scattered across Illinois. They were suckered in, just as the wind-farm investors are now.

    Corn….best used for food, livestock feed, and…..what’s that country song……

    Rain makes corn
    Corn makes whiskey
    Whiskey makes my girlfriend
    Feel a little frisky

  22. This article adds a bit more information directly relevant to this issue. Al Gore, who of course claimed “An Inconventient Truth” was oh so scientifically accurate, only to have actual legal trial in the UK find it had more than 9 material fallicies and can now only be shown in UK schools as a political film, with warnings about it having significant scientific errors… Al Gore who presents himself as supposedly understanding science – yet he either never bothered to research using biofuels for ethanol, or worse, knew better and was solely pandering for votes. Either way, incompetant, or just downright evil – or both. Take your pick.

    Many years ago when his first book came out I was at the book store and picked it up off the shelf. Opening it to a random page, I read a bit that came across as sort of pensive-whiney, along the lines of “So, here we were, miles and miles from the shore on the boat, and I saw this dead fish float to the surface of the ocean. And I thought to myself how awful it was that even in the middle of the ocean, man’s pollution was killing all the fish….” I closed the book and put it back in utter disgust right then. Like, gee, there couldn’t be any non-man-made causes for a single fish to die anywhere in the ocean? No diseases? No attacks from predator fishes that wound up injuring the fish so it later died? He went on from there without ever mentioning any of those possibilities if I recall correctly. Just how un-scientific can someone get? That was the acute and utter loss of any respect I had for the man’s logic and scientific credibility. /vent

    Here’s the article:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/11/22/gore-on-second-thought-i-was-just-pandering-to-the-farm-vote-on-ethanol/

    which adds a little useful supplemental info to Ryan Maue’s article. I imagine many of the associated calculations are controversial depending on who’s doing them and what is or isn’t considered and added in, and I wish they’d included sugarcane. Also, I’m no farmer, but aren’t most of the secondary sources, such as corn stalks, actually quite beneficial as fertilizer/soil conditioners when plowed under? Or is that now moot with no-till farming methods?

    Anyhow for whatever it’s worth, here are the key bits from the article I linked above:

    Gore now says he supports second-generation ethanol to avoid using food, instead using wood, waste fiber, and grass. But the same Slate report shows that these technologies actually perform worse than corn for ethanol:

    David Pimentel, a professor of ecology at Cornell University who has been studying grain alcohol for 20 years, and Tad Patzek, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, co-wrote a recent report that estimates that making ethanol from corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel itself actually contains.

    The two scientists calculated all the fuel inputs for ethanol production—from the diesel fuel for the tractor planting the corn, to the fertilizer put in the field, to the energy needed at the processing plant—and found that ethanol is a net energy-loser. According to their calculations, ethanol contains about 76,000 BTUs per gallon, but producing that ethanol from corn takes about 98,000 BTUs. For comparison, a gallon of gasoline contains about 116,000 BTUs per gallon. But making that gallon of gas—from drilling the well, to transportation, through refining—requires around 22,000 BTUs.

    In addition to their findings on corn, they determined that making ethanol from switch grass requires 50 percent more fossil energy than the ethanol yields, wood biomass 57 percent more, and sunflowers 118 percent more. The best yield comes from soybeans, but they, too, are a net loser, requiring 27 percent more fossil energy than the biodiesel fuel produced. In other words, more ethanol production will increase America’s total energy consumption, not decrease it.

    The article also adds an update to their original – they’ve got links embedded in each of the bits below, but I’ll leave that for the reader here to find in their article rather than trying to recreate each here:

    Update: On that note, here’s this from commenter Selias:

    Google avaiation biofuels and algae. Then Google Al Gore’s investment into biofuel companies like Abengoa.

    Then read this article last week in The Hill, written by none other than Abengoa VP, Christopher G. Standlee:

    America needs new investment: In the next generation of biofuels

    Then ponder the Federal lands and wetlands bonanza buy-ups in recent years, even pointed out by our very own Michelle Malkin.

    Why would the progressive Federal gov’t need so much land? With quotes like this:

    The Department of Energy says algae grown on a 15,000-square-mile area, about the size of Maryland, could theoretically meet the nation’s oil needs.

    …it’s easy to put this puzzle together.

    It’s all about Al Gore Inc.

  23. We need congressional hearing on this and the whole ‘global warming’ scam. The GOP should investigate Al Gore in particular, and demand he appear in public sessions (plural). He has made $1 billion out of the so-called ‘global warming’ scam, and justice demads that he is deprived of this wealth, and jailed.
    GOP, find a way, and put a final end to this nightmare.

  24. 1. The energy balance may not be great but it is still postive – sort of like gruel may not be good but it’s still food?

    2. Energy balance is not everything. There is a shortage of liquid fuels to drive cars, but abundance of other fuels such as coal, uranium etc. Corn ethanol helps to close the price gap, it is much better than coal liquidification and reduces oil imorts from ugly regimes in the middle east and venezuela. And it burns less efficiently, increasing the amount of fuel per mile

    3. Corn ethanol has helped to stabilize corn prices and provide good income for US farmers and affiliated industry workers. It raises the prices, making CORPORATE farmers richer

    5. Heartland people hate Al Gore. This is just his primitive reaction. Do you mean “their” reaction? Are you implying the common man isn’t smart enough to see through Gore’s sermons?

  25. speaking of obvious, it’s becoming glaringly obvious that WUWT (and most other contrarian sites) are avaoiding the Wegman scandal. I wonder why that is?

    REPLY: Speaking of obvious, its obvious that you haven’t done your homework. We’ve had posts WAY IN ADVANCE of the current hubub being stirred up by USA Today, who was late to the party by about a month.

    On Bradley: Blackmail or Let’s Make a Deal. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/21/blackmail-or-lets-make-a-deal/

    Bradley Copies Fritts http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/18/bradley-copies-fritts/

    How to solve attribution conflicts in climate science http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/15/how-to-solve-attribution-conflicts-in-climate-science/

    Manic Flail: Epic Fail http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/12/manic-flail-epic-fail/

    Dipping Into The Sour Mash, Part 2 http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/10/dipping-into-the-sour-mash-part-2/

    Mashey Potatoes, Part 1 http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/09/mashey-potatoes-part-1/

    Wordsmithing http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/09/wordsmithing/

    On Wegman – Who will guard the guards themselves? http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/08/on-wegman-who-will-guard-the-guards-themselves/

    Is that enough or do you still think we are “ignoring” it? Sheesh – Anthony Watts

  26. To the people who invariably come into these forums to defend “corn squeezin’s” as a fuel:

    Have you ever actually compared your mileage?

    My car gets 13 to 15 % fewer miles on a 10 % ethanol blend than on pure gas.

    In what kind of Bizarro universe can such a substance be called a fuel? Granted, it might work better in an engine designed to run on it, but since virtually nobody has such an engine, and outfitting every existing car with such an engine would represent a HUGE energy expense, I refer you back to the Bizarro universe question.

  27. Similar economics applies to wind, solar and most renewables. Gore’s ignorance of, or ignoring of, the facts is shared by the Coalition ruling the UK. God help us!
    A full post on the science and economics of ‘renewables’, including technical difficulties of base load supply,transmission costs and intergration with existing grid, would be appreciated.
    Nice to hear from Gail Combs.

  28. @ Rational Debate says:
    November 22, 2010 at 11:05 am

    RE: your no-till question.

    “No-till” doesn’t mean that NO tilling is done. I simply means that it’s very shallow and leaves most of the stover, etc. on the surface. There are other methods such as vertical tilling, and so on also. What the farmer does depends a great deal on what crops were grown and what cover crops are to be used. No-till doesn’t work well for corn, btw. Major downsides to so-called “no-till” are insect infestations, weeds, and disease that affect the next planting, which means higher application of a variety of insecticides, herbicides, etc. . Weather also plays a significant role in this decision.

  29. Tamsie says:
    November 22, 2010 at 11:29 am

    speaking of obvious, it’s becoming glaringly obvious that WUWT (and most other contrarian sites) are avaoiding the Wegman scandal. I wonder why that is?

    Yeah, and what about the fact that Barack Obama had Elvis’ baby?

  30. Tamsie,

    Yes, come to WUWT to get the breaking news first – whether it be things you like (Wegman controversy) or don’t like (Jones/Mann controversy – aka “Climategate”)

  31. Surely an important point is whether he made money out of it? Has this aspect been investigated? He might say now it was a mistake but what was he doing when he was supporting it back then?

  32. NICK LUKE says:
    November 22, 2010 at 10:11 am

    “It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

    Just about sums up the entire Climate Change Industry

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. You hit nail on head my friend.

  33. “At least two years is translated: maybe in 2012 if Obama is re-elected, the Dems take back the House, and they don’t lose the Senate. In other words, the bill is dead. ”

    Please don’t underestimate the ability of the Republican party to fumble it’s way to a Dem victory. Also remember that the state media is Dem controlled. I think the games is closer than you think.

  34. I don’t know, maybe my steaks cost a bit more these days, but mostly I eat chicken, but at least the farmers aren’t piling the corn on the ground anymore, which must be good for something.

  35. @ bob says:
    November 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I don’t know, maybe my steaks cost a bit more these days, but mostly I eat chicken, but at least the farmers aren’t piling the corn on the ground anymore, which must be good for something.

    Different varieties of corn are grown for different markets and they are not interchangeable due to different pricing, etc.. Over 40% of the total corn crop is grown specifically for ethanol. Other varieties go to animal feed, corn syrup, “pop” corn, etc. Very little of the total crop actually ends up on your dinner plate.

  36. People are dead because of this man’s hubris. Mostly children.
    Not pretend dead as in a model prediction which never comes true, but dead and buried.

  37. Curious George,

    You know corn is sold as a commodity right?

    There are many varieties that go into the bin marked #2 and end up as either animal feed, ethanol, corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup.

    Sweet corn and pop corn don’t go through the commodities market as such.

    You might be suprised how much corn is actually on your dinner plate. Processed food is full of it.

  38. HMMMMmmmm, Just think out loud.
    1. we are in a recession/depression

    2. The food modernization Act that turns over control of US farming to the UN/World Trade Organization. Similar regs in other countries wiped out over 50% of the independent farmers and that was not during a recession.

    3. Al baby now comes out against corn ethanol, thereby yanking the rug out from under American farmers best “cash crop”

    4. Billy Clinton also delivers a swipe at US farmers.

    “…Former President Clinton told a U.N. gathering Thursday that the global food crisis shows “we all blew it, including me,” by treating food crops “like color TVs” instead of as a vital commodity for the world’s poor. We Blew It’ on Global Food, Says Bill Clinton

    Former U.S. President Bill Clinton made a remarkable admission a couple of weeks ago. His neoliberal “free trade” policies of the 1990’s have led to the destruction of Haiti’s agricultural sector and the inability of the country to feed itself.

    “It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake,” said Clinton to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 10. “I had to live everyday with the consequences of the loss of capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people because of what I did; nobody else.”

    Bill Clinton Admits his Neoliberal Free Trade Policies Are Wrong: ‘It Was a Mistake’ : http://www.stwr.org/latin-america-caribbean/bill-clinton-admits-neoliberal-policies-in-haiti-were-a-mistake.html

    Remember the CEO of Monsanto, Robert Shapiro, was Clinton’s Senior Foreign Trade Adviser and Dan Amstutz, VP of Cargill, was a US trade negotiator and wrote the Agreement on Ag for the World Trade Organization.

    As a farmer I sure feel like a deer in the crosshairs…

  39. hedrat says:
    November 22, 2010 at 11:34 am

    To the people who invariably come into these forums to defend “corn squeezin’s” as a fuel:

    Have you ever actually compared your mileage?

    My car gets 13 to 15 % fewer miles on a 10 % ethanol blend than on pure gas.

    Yes I have!
    There is no practical difference in fuel economy between E10 and straight gasoline. If your car actually gets that big of a fuel economy drop assuming you are properly measuring fuel mileage, your car is broke go get it fixed.

    We have had ethanol added gasoline for sale here in Colorado for 30 years. The difference in fuel mileage between E10 and straight gasoline in well tuned cars is barely detectable in carefully conducted fuel mileage studies, as it is only about 1%-2% difference in miles per gallon.

    The difference is so small, you need to measure the miles traveled and fuel used to 2 decimal places for 4-5 tanks of fuel to see the difference. You can have much larger changes in fuel economy due to changes in the weather (colder temps drop fuel mileage much more than that) or changes in driving conditions such as more rush hour traffic etc. or increased idle time to warm up the car in cold weather.

    http://www.ethanol.org/pdf/contentmgmt/ACEFuelEconomyStudy_001.pdf

    The Pimentel studies demonstrate just how crappy peer reviewed studies can be. His studies are a joke and have been debunked by several other reports. His studies keep showing up in the media for the same reasons some alarming climate studies keep appearing in the media. His are the only ones that are scary enough to get the media readership and ratings.

    He uses absurd assumptions and obsolete data for his studies and consistently is the odd ball among all the published studies on the ethanol energy balance.

    http://www.ethanolrfa.org/page/-/objects/documents/84/ethanolffuelsrebuttal.pdf

    http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/354.pdf

    http://www.ethanolmt.org/images/argonnestudy.pdf

    I am glad the blenders tax credit is about to expire, as I feel it has accomplished the build out in the ethanol industry that was needed and that the industry is now mature enough it should be able to fend for itself. The speculators who bought into it to profiteer got creamed during the recent down turn and only the properly run state of the art efficiently designed plants survived. The plants that were built/bought by know nothing speculators have been driven out of business or gobbled up at pennies on the dollar by folks who have a clue how to run a biofuel operation.

    Now that corn is selling at fair market value for the first time in about 35 year, perhaps folks like Tyson can stop ripping off the government for subsidized corn feed for their chickens and come up with a business model where they can survive without government subsidized corn prices.

    Most of the price shocks to food in other countries were not due to corn diverted to ethanol production but due to speculators bidding up the price of food as they moved from oil speculation to food commodities. Rice shortages are not due to corn prices.

    Corn is still historically cheap compared to what it cost in 1979 when it sold for about 2x what it sells for today in terms of inflation corrected prices.

    Yes Gore is a moron and was just trying to scam the public and get rich off of the green revolution and I hope he continues to lose his shirt in all his little green investment projects. He is the worst kind of profiteer.

    Larry

  40. “First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

    “It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

    This is a microcosm of why the government should stay out of the business of picking winners and losers in the free market as a first principle. We are now creating the same issues in wind and solar power, electric cars, battery technology, etc. Once a large subsidized business exists those with a vested interest protect it. Before long an economy is drowning under its own dead weight.

  41. “”””” Manfred says:
    November 22, 2010 at 10:56 am
    Gore wrong again.

    1. The energy balance may not be great but it is still postive “””””

    Let’s say that the energy balance is just at break even. You spend the energy of one barrel of crude oil (equivalent) to get the equivalent of one barrel of ethanol fuel (energy wise).

    So that means you get the same energy out of your car burning either the oil fuel or the ethanol fuel; and the effluent CO2 is about the same; well it ought to be more for ethanol, because the O in the ethanol is equivalent to adding water to the fuel.

    But instead of burning the oil in oyur car; you burn it all up making the ethanol, and then you burn the ethanol in your car.

    So you have just consumed twice as much fuel and generated twice as much CO2 as if you just burned the oil to begin with and left out the step of making the ethanol.

    OK if your yield is betetr than break even say two for one, then you get two units of ethanol fuel from spending one unit of oil; so you burned three total units of fuel to do the same job you could do with two units of oil fuel you already have; and leave out the circuitous route of turning the oil into ethanol first.

    It makes no sense to do work you don’t have to do, to get some job done.

    Catching sailfish and marlin and everything else in the sea of Cortez, and using it to make fertilizer to grow corn is not a useful way of providing food. Fortunately the Mexican Government eventually woke up and stopped such wastage.

  42. The sad fact is that the increase in hunger due to developed countries’ obsession with biofuels was entirely predictable. Pardon me for tooting my horn but as I wrote in 1999 here:

    Another danger [for global food security] is that the developed countries may forego producing surpluses because they are unwilling to risk their environmental well-being for products sent abroad. Moreover, North America and the EU might reduce agricultural production not only because they can survive without the additional production but because they would rather use the land for fuel farms or carbon sequestration and move their subsidies from production of food crops to these other activities. [Emphasis added. Source: Goklany IM. 1999. “The Future of the Industrial System.” Invited Paper. International Conference on Industrial Ecology and Sustainability, University of Technology of Troyes, Troyes, France, September 22-25, 1999. Also published in: D. Bourg and S. Erkman, eds., Perspectives on Industrial Ecology (Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf Publishing, 2003), pp. 194-222.]

  43. I’ve read through most of these posts bashing the use of corn for the production of ethanol and just have to shake my head at the lack of knowledge about the current efficiencies of ethanol production.
    For starters the energy return for the production of corn to ethanol is @60% positive return to the energy balance. From a bushel of corn the current production of ethanol is @2.9 gallons of ethanol, (a bushel of corn is 56 pounds, @70 ears of corn and the price of corn is roughly $5.00/bushel or about .07 cents per ear unlike the fool who thinks an ear of corn is worth $.50-.75/ear. If you want to buy some for $.25/ear let me know how much you want, I can get all you want.) Out of the 56 pounds of corn there is 18 pounds of corn distillers grain left over for feed use to feed cattle, hogs, chickens, etc.
    The production of corn this year is @ 12.5 billion bushels with @4 billion going to ethanol production, of which 1/3 comes back out for feed usage. In 1994 corn production was around 9 billion bushels of corn, with total usage of less than 8 billion bushels. Corn production/acre goes up 1.5-2 bushels/acre/year offsetting annual ethanol or other usage increases. This is done using fewer inputs of fertilizer and fuel on a per acre basis than was used 30 years ago. As far as ethanol plants are concerned they get 2.9 gallons of ethanol per bushel versus 2.3 when Pimentol did his study and are using about 70% less energy than they did even 15 years ago. This has been accomplished using better enzymes that work using lower temperatures for the fermentation process.
    Funny how there is so much bashing of an industry that was blamed for movie theatres raising the price of popcorn $.50 wen there was only $.02 of corn in the bag to begin with. Also, by the way I have lawnmowers, 4 wheelers and dirt bikes that burn E10 and have had zero problems with any of them, never mind my cars that have gotten over 350,000 miles burning ethanol. Do your homework on an industry before you pass judgement on it, else you are just as guilty as the global warming alarmists fomenting false information.

  44. Kim,

    Larry about said it all.

    We use about one gallon of petroleum “wheel to well” to produce 20 gallons of ethanol.

    Almost all of the fossil fuel used, about 30,000 btus, on average, is natural gas. This is going away as we speak. Within the decade all corn ethanol plants will derive the energy of distillation from the lignin left over from the biorefining of the cobs, and approx 1/3 of the stover.

    Patzek is founder of the “Southern California OIL Consortium.” Pimental is an entomologist that has been pushing “Coal” (coal to liquids) for many years.

    After allowing for DDGS, we’re replacing 9% of our gasoline with ethanol, and using approx 20% of our field corn crop. Pimental stated that it would require our entire crop to replace 10%. He is, quite simply, a fraud. In 2007 (and, quite possibly, today) he was using 2003 Crop yields (approx 25% less than present yields) in his calculations. His calculations included the farmer going out and building an enormous equipment shed, for the largest, most expensive equipment, to farm a fairly modest farm that would require much smaller, and already owned, equipment.

    Pimental proved, emphatically, that 2.7 gallons of ethanol was the most that you could possibly get from a bushel of corn. Today, 3 years later, Poet gets 3.0 gallons of ethanol, plus corn oil, plus zein, plus the CO2 that they sell to bottlers, etc from a Bushel of corn.

    Oh, the subsidies of which he speaks Will be going away on Dec 31st.

    The $52 Billion/Yr Fossil Fuel Subsidies (U.S., alone) Won’t.

  45. I hear Cropdoc saying that the ethanol industry is ready to stand on its own and compete without subsidies or mandates requiring ethanol at the pump. Good for the ethanol industry.

  46. Some enterprising entrepreneur needs to turn that pic of Gore and his hot breath into an electric room heater. Instead of the fake log fire, you could have Gore’s hot air heating your tootsies.

  47. Funny how the Goracle will not say these things in the U.S., but has to go to Athens, Greece to do so. Sorry, all you farmers out there, corn ethanol is not and will not be the future. You are better off producing corn for us and the rest of the world to eat, not turn into fuel. You guys can line your pockets all you want, because we all love eating corn in all of its forms. Just don’t waste my time with ethanol.

  48. It’s hard once such a programme is put in place…

    Wow. Gore spends so much time outside the US and jetting around the world, he’s picked up a British accent.

    Bloody hell.

  49. “It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

    – Oh no sh**? —

    So please Mr. Politician, stop passing bills that screw us over and can’t be undone and tell your a**hole friends in Washington to do the same.

  50. I can only speak from my personal experience, but ethanol does NOT even come close to the mileage on non-E gas.

    I keep very close track of the mileage on my old (93 Chev 4×4) truck. It is high mileage, but tuned to a tee. On 87 E10 I get 10 MPG, on no ethanol 93 I get 13-15mpg. The difference in performance and mileage is obvious.

    The non-E premium comes at a price premium of about .25 cents, right now $3.25 Vs $3. At an 8% increase in price, I see a 23% increase in mileage using the low end figure.

    I have also had two different cars have gas line problems from ethanol. One had the line corrode from the inside out, one had them split from the water that came with the ethanol separating and freezing when the weather went sub-zero.

    Now I only run ethanol in my truck if I have to, and then only enough to get to a station that has the non-E gas. In my snowmobiles, chain saw, and outboard it is unthinkable. Thanks to the EAA, we can still get non-ethanol gas in WI, but usually it is premium.

  51. Over a period of years, I have worked with and socialised with a number of North Americans and am honoured to call them my friends. Even have a couple of them in my extended family back home in New Zealand. Nice people, every one. Smart too, made lots of money, live in nice houses, know about a whole heap of stuff. But why, oh why are the politicians Americans produce such extraordinary snake-oil salesmen and all-round shysters.
    Then I shifted to the UK. Guess what? UK politicians are even dumber than the US variety. As an example, the UK has a generally mild and ‘soft’ climate where the wind doesn’t blow all that vigorously or frequently and those same UK politicians insist that wind power is sensible! Then I get the news while I am away in these furrin parts that politicians in my own little corner of the world back home have voted in an ETS bill! I know a few politicians there and at least one of them is an actual scientist; the current Speaker of the House in NZ has a Phd in a branch of agricultural science and breeds prize winning bulls, so what is going on with the world’s pollies?
    Sadly, reading about Al Gore’s callous disregard for almost all of the human race from farmers to the world’s poor, is it just politicians as a breed that seem to think that being wildly untruthful with their electorates and gouging what they can steal for themselves is acceptable? What happened to the old ideals of honour, truth and service to one’s fellow man? Or am I just old and operating from a set of values that only applied back when I went to Sunday School?
    I guess these are rhetorical questions that I already know the answer to, but I can say without a shadow of doubt that I am so sick and tired of self-aggrandizing idiots putting their hands in my pockets.

  52. Alexander K:
    “Then I shifted to the UK. Guess what? UK politicians are even dumber than the US variety. As an example, the UK has a generally mild and ‘soft’ climate where the wind doesn’t blow all that vigorously or frequently and those same UK politicians insist that wind power is sensible!”

    Too true. I’ve corresponded with the UK Energy Minister and it’s clear that he doesn’t understand the basics of how this sort of technology works. We are set to spend Billions subsidising green energy which will make little or no contribution to either power supply or carbon reductions.

    As far as Gore is concerned, it’s interesting to hear that his policies and rhetoric have been promoted purely for his own benefit and political ambition. Not a hint of an apology though.

    Gore: “It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.” In other words politicians are unable to stop what they start due to influential lobby groups looking after their own interests. It sort of explains why the likes of WWF, Friends Of The Earth spend so much time with politicians – it’s not to discuss government policy, it’s to instruct cowardly politicians what to do next.

    Very revealing.

  53. re post by: Curiousgeorge says: November 22, 2010 at 11:44 am

    RE: your no-till question…..

    Thank you for the info Curiousgeorge!

  54. I don’t like Ethanol for 2-cycle engines but, for 4-cycle engines, it works. 2-cycle engines don’t seem to warm up right. I absolutely love the idea that some of that grain actually goes to livestock and grain-fed meat is wonderful.

    I’m not a “climate disruption” person, but I do like the idea of Ethanol. It sucks the moisture out of your gas tank in the winter.

  55. E10 also is great winterizer for small engines. Since using it in my mowers and dirt bike and 4 wheeler I have no problems starting them in the spring after sitting for 6 months. You folks do realize don’t you that “heat” is mostly all ethanol therefore stablizing the gasoline and preventing the buildup of varnish on the fuel system. Ethanol also puts any water in your system into suspension and takes it out of the tank, unlike regular gasoline. Ray B better find another product to blame for his gas line splitting in the winter, and the corrosion which was more than likely a result of the water in his gas. Oh, and comparing 93 octane versus 87 is not a fair comparison by any stretch of the imagination.

    Another point is that ethanol came to be an industry because the price of corn was less than $2.00/bushel and the producer was being subsidised for those prices that cheaper than corn was in the 30′s. Yes, I will say it again, corn was cheaper in the 1990′s than it was in the 1930′s. If you were to adjust the price of corn for inflation it should be over $12.00/bushel not the $5.00 it is today. Farmers have done a terrific job of becoming more efficient in producing a bushel of corn using improved management and better genetics.
    The blenders credit which is the subsidy everyone talks about goes to those corporations that blend the fuel, ie mostly the oil industry and is supposed to be passed onto the consumer, which most of it is not. Rack prices for ethanol generally follow the price of gasoline rack prices and are lower because of the differences in btu’s. The ethanol plants will do fine without the subsidy as long as the oil industry is mandated to use a certain percentage, which they don’t like since it is their competition.
    Another point in regards to food prices relating to ethanol. Which will have more impact on prices, the price of oil or the price of corn??? $140/barrel oil is what caused the food price increases, ethanol just became everyones favorite whipping boy, or excuse. For example the highest price for dairy producers for milk was @$20.00/hundred pounds. Milk sold for well over $3.00/ gallon of which on a per gallon basis the dairy got less than $1.50. Milk today at the dairy is less than $15.00/hundred, do you think maybe supply demand is at work here?

  56. Manfred,

    You have repeated various myths about Ethanol,

    Myth: Ethanol is Great (Video) (5min) (ABC News)

    1. The energy balance may not be great but it is still postive

    Wrong,

    Ethanol And Biodiesel From Crops Not Worth The Energy (Cornell University)

    In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, the study found that:

    * corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
    * switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
    * wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

    2. Energy balance is not everything. There is a shortage of liquid fuels to drive cars, but abundance of other fuels such as coal, uranium etc. Corn ethanol helps to close the price gap, it is much better than coal liquidification and reduces oil imorts from ugly regimes in the middle east and venezuela.

    There is no shortage of liquid fuels, there is only a restriction on development of hydrocarbon energy sources by governments. Corn Ethanol is not market competitive with oil and simply makes gasoline more expensive.

    Energy independence is a myth repeated by propagandists who financially benefit from exploiting the American consumer through government mandates and subsidies.

    5 Myths About Breaking Our Foreign Oil Habit (The Washington Post)

    Coal liquidification is a better option (should the price allow) than burning food.

    3. Corn ethanol has helped to stabilize corn prices and provide good income for US farmers and affiliated industry workers.

    LMAO, no it hasn’t it has enriched corporations like ADM at the taxpayer’s expense,

    Ethanol Keeps ADM Drunk On Tax Dollars (Cato Institute)

    Ethanol subsidies is government welfare for US Farmers and affiliated workers.

  57. Fascinating this thread is attracting all the government welfare farmers and their economic illiterate positions on free trade and emotional nonsense like “fair pricing”.

  58. The rhetoric of the “independent farmer” sounds nostalgic just like the mom and pop stores in “small towns” until the public wants to actually purchase something and they choose to go for the best price for their dollar and shop at Walmart Supercenters and Home Depot. The average person doesn’t care if their food comes from an inefficient “independent farmer” or a farm corporation. Thus all agricultural regulations should be repealed and all agricultural subsidies abolished. The American consumer can decide on how to spend their dollars best.

  59. anyone remembering the other “additive GORE Pushed for…the one that turned out to be really toxic…. and was banned, MB…something…?
    and he was tied into profits from that too from memory of a post I once read.

  60. Poptech,

    All of your so called myth articles are so wrong in thier conclusions it is laughable. Never mind that the newest article is over 5 years old, with one over 10 years old, talking about the blenders credit and ADM. Your sources are so biased I feel sorry for you if you believe they are spouting anything close to the truth. Lies and distortions of the facts are a waste of everyones’ time including yours.

  61. I cannot believe the ignorance that I am seeing here. I expected more from this forum. It just goes to show that people who are skeptical of CAGW can be just as stupid as CAGW people I guess. I would post more, but posters like Cropdoc and Larry L have pretty much said what needs to be said.

  62. Your (Anthony) election math, while feasible, is akin to those seeing the republicans gain control of the senate this year. It just wont happen. The democrats have over 2/3rds of the seats to defend in 12, many in states that are not blue. So they expect to lose some (perhaps not many). In order to recover to their 09 level, they would have to win all but 4 (that is one, two, three, four! ) of the senate seats up for grags in 12.

    So even if they take back the house, the idea they will win 29 seats in 12 is feasible, but highly improbable. Even with an Obama win in the Presidential election, democrats will be hard pressed to keep a majority in the senate.

  63. A question to all the “farmers” posting here who are on the government dole,

    Does the American consumer not have the right to purchase the most economically viable (cheapest) source of transportation fuel?

    Why does the U.S. Ethanol industry need to exploit the U.S. consumer?

    Why are you in favor of contributing to world hunger by burning food?

  64. Poptech says:
    November 23, 2010 at 5:42 am

    “…LMAO, no it hasn’t it has enriched corporations like ADM at the taxpayer’s expense,
    Ethanol Keeps ADM Drunk On Tax Dollars (Cato Institute)

    Ethanol subsidies is government welfare for US Farmers and affiliated workers.”
    _________________________________________________________

    Another myth is that it has enriched American farmers. The true winners are Monsanto who sold the seed and chemicals at fixed prices to the farmers and the Grain Traders like ADM, and Cargill who set the wholesale price paid to the farmers (monopsony). I have yet to meet an independent farmer who actually makes his living farming and I went to an Ag school, Prudue in the late 60s. All the farmers I know had outside jobs.

    This is backed up by the USDA Ag survey:
    Gross Sales ( not net salary)
    up to $25,000 – .1,519,209
    $25 – $100,000 – 298,385
    Over $100,000 – 311,388

    The number grossing over $500,000 is only 70,642

    Most of those farmers never see a dime from the US government.

    “…In fact, seventy percent of S.C. farmers receive absolutely no taxpayer-funded assistance whatsoever, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, the top ten percent of farmers received $1.17 billion – or 72 percent of the handout total…

    Obviously, the government likes to portray farm subsidies as helping alleviate farmer poverty, but the reality is that they are helping fund takeovers of family farms by large agribusiness concerns.

    “Lawmakers would be hard-pressed to enact a set of policies that are more destructive to farmers, taxpayers, and consumers than the current farm policies,” wrote Heritage Foundation budget expert Brian Riedl in a 2007 report. “Farm subsidies are intended to help struggling family farmers. Instead, they harm them by excluding them from most subsidies, financing the consolidation of family farms, and raising land values to levels that prevent young people from entering farming.”” http://www.fitsnews.com/2010/07/24/sc-farm-subsidies-whos-cashing-in/

    Seems every where you turn black is white and white is black and the perpetual motion machine moves wealth from the poor to the rich, while the propaganda says the oposite.

  65. Crop Doc,

    If you are correct then the solution is simple…..remove subsidies and allow ethanol to compete on its own merit. If it can, then more power to it. Absent the CO2 “mania” there is no societal gain from its use, except those that can be realized by the free market, and subsidies are not justified.

  66. Cropdoc,

    Nothing in the articles is wrong. The Washington Post Article is from 2008. I realize you are here to protect your government pork at the taxpayers expense but none of your emotional positions changes the reality about Ethanol not being economically viable. The only lies and distortions are those coming out of the Ethanol lobby to keep the American people duped about handing over their tax money to them.

    Here is a recent article for you,

    The Ethanol Tax Credit — It’s Worse Than You Think (Cato Institute)

    You can keep your corn based religion, I will use what is the most economically viable fuel thank you.

  67. Poptech says:
    November 23, 2010 at 8:27 am

    You can keep your corn based religion, I will use what is the most economically viable fuel thank you.

    Me too that is why I use E85 that costs me 10 cents per mile instead of gasoline that costs me 13 cents per mile to drive. Not to mention I get much better performance, lower emissions and less engine deposits.

    You can believe the propaganda promoting gasoline all you want but ethanol blended with gasoline is a far better fuel in every respect.

    Well with one exception — E85 is not nearly as good at over heating an engine as gasoline. In fact I needed to put a higher temperature thermostat in my car to get it to properly warm up in the winter time. Stock thermostat for my car on gasoline was a 172 deg F thermostat. On E85 it did not reach normal operating temperatures until I put a 190 deg F thermostat in.

    Larry

  68. Me too that is why I use E85 that costs me 10 cents per mile instead of gasoline that costs me 13 cents per mile to drive. Not to mention I get much better performance, lower emissions and less engine deposits.

    You can believe the propaganda promoting gasoline all you want but ethanol blended with gasoline is a far better fuel in every respect.

    LMAO, then it would not need government mandates and subsidies (welfare) to keep it afloat. The American consumer are not the fools you take them for.

    You repeated various myths including “better” performance. I don’t consider lower MPG “better” performance,

    E85-ready cars: Gasoline vs. ethanol operating-cost comparison (Consumer Reports)

    Lets look at the Real price of Ethanol, the BTU and subsidy adjusted price,

    E85 BTU Adjusted Price (AAA)

    $2.870 Regular Gasoline

    $3.318 E85 MPG/BTU adjusted price
    +0.450 – Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (Subsidy)
    $3.768 – Actual Price of Ethanol Per Gallon

    I’ll take AAA and Consumer Reports over the Ethanol Lobby that is scamming the American taxpayer out of their money.

  69. Larry,

    Surprised as I am that the ethanol “industry” (I’ll remove the quotes when they stop taking tax dollars) would find no problems with ethanol mileage, I’ll trust my own observations. It isn’t as though it’s hard to tell the difference between 215-220 miles before gas light comes on and 185 to 190 miles before light comes on. I don’t exactly need significant figures to see the difference in 25 to 30 miles per fill-up.

    I’m not the only one who has noticed it, either:

    http://5xracing.com/p-1057-mazdarx8projectmpg.html


    E10 ethanol gas KILLS your fuel economy in an RX-8! There is no worse mpg killer than E10 with the full 10% of ethanol added, stay away from it if at all possible. You can smell when the fuel has a high concentration of ethanol, it doesn’t smell like gas. If you can find a station that offers ethanol free fuel, use it and you will see more consistent mpg ratings. After all the stations went to the “10% or less ethanol added” fuel, our gas mileage was all over the place. Sometimes it would be the same (21 mpg average) and sometimes it would be really bad (19 mpg average). We believe that we lost about 30 miles or so to a tank when using E10 fuel, even our 2001 Mustang GT lost about 30 miles to a tank when ethanol was used, so it is universal that this stuff kills fuel mileage.

    Ethanol is crap, and the fact that we have to waste out money, and risk our fuel systems (especially boaters and small engine owners) to enrich a handful of deadbeat ag conglomerates is nothing short of scandalous.

    I’ve had enough eco-tyranny and crony capitalism.

  70. Ray B says:
    November 23, 2010 at 12:34 am

    I have also had two different cars have gas line problems from ethanol. One had the line corrode from the inside out, one had them split from the water that came with the ethanol separating and freezing when the weather went sub-zero.

    **************************

    Hahahahaha! An ethanol-water azeotrope freezes at sub-zero temperatures how? Where do you drive your car, on Mars at night during the winter?

  71. Poptech says:
    November 23, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Me too that is why I use E85 that costs me 10 cents per mile instead of gasoline that costs me 13 cents per mile to drive. Not to mention I get much better performance, lower emissions and less engine deposits.

    You can believe the propaganda promoting gasoline all you want but ethanol blended with gasoline is a far better fuel in every respect.

    LMAO, then it would not need government mandates and subsidies (welfare) to keep it afloat. The American consumer are not the fools you take them for.

    You repeated various myths including “better” performance. I don’t consider lower MPG “better” performance,

    E85-ready cars: Gasoline vs. ethanol operating-cost comparison (Consumer Reports)

    Based on our findings for a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, we have applied a 27-percent reduction to the overall mileage to generate a calculated estimate of the FFVs’ performance when running on E85.

    So you have no problem with consumer reports doing a single test on one of the worst performing FFV’s on the market (Tahoe) and arbitrarily using that cars performance to justify a wild ass guess about what the fuel mileage will be on other cars even though there are carefully controlled tests out there that show some cars actually get higher fuel mileage on ethanol blends than on straight gasoline.

    Sorry! I believe actual measured results both mine and numerous published studies that show that cars can and do get much smaller fuel mileage drops on E85 than Consumer Reports “guesses”.

    Lets look at the Real price of Ethanol, the BTU and subsidy adjusted price,

    Lets not! It is a totally bogus concept, (red herring)to confuse the issue and sound scientific when it is in fact an artificial construct intended to show ethanol in the worst possible light and has absolutely no rational basis.

    The volumetric fuel energy in a fuel has very little to do with engine power, performance or fuel economy. All of those variables are determined by how much of the fuel you have to actually burn to extract a certain amount of useful work from the engine. I have already discussed this several times. You might want to read the posts I have made on that subject already.

    I will save you the trouble looking all of them up.
    These are actual measured results of my first E85 conversion from gasoline to a full E85 conversion.

    Over a years time my measured fuel consumption was:
    gasoline mileage Gasoline 125,000 Btu/ gallon / 24 = 5208 BTU/mile

    On my E85 conversion same car, same engine only change being different sized fuel injectors, @ 92% of gasoline mileage or 22 mpg E85 90,500 BTU/gallon/22 = 4114 BTU/mile.

    You can believe or discount my numbers, I really don’t care, it is your loss not mine if you ignore the fact you could be saving money on your fuel costs.

    At current prices of $3.09 for premium fuel (which my car requires) fuel costs per mile would be 12.875 cents per mile. Currently in my location E85 sells for $2.29 @ 22 mpg that makes the cost per mile 10.409 cents per mile.

    Pay your money and take your choice.

    hedrat says:
    November 23, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Larry,

    Surprised as I am that the ethanol “industry” (I’ll remove the quotes when they stop taking tax dollars) would find no problems with ethanol mileage, I’ll trust my own observations. It isn’t as though it’s hard to tell the difference between 215-220 miles before gas light comes on and 185 to 190 miles before light comes on. I don’t exactly need significant figures to see the difference in 25 to 30 miles per fill-up.

    Well it does not surprise me that you are coming to that conclusion since you are making a classic mistake and not measuring your fuel mileage but only guessing what your mileage is.

    Your fuel gauge uses a float to determine fuel level in the tank, and can turn the light on over a significant range of fuel in the tank depending on what sort of a hill you are sitting on, if you are accelerating or braking etc. On my car those effects can change when the light comes on by over 3 gallons in the tank.

    The ONLY rational way to determine your actual fuel consumption is to actually write down your fuel used and mileage traveled over several hundred miles.

    Fill the tank up until the fuel nozzle kicks off, record you odometer mileage, then repeat about 3-4 times. Then and only then total up the miles traveled and fuel actually used. Your guess based on when the fuel light comes off could be off by a huge margin, especially if you are not noting events that could change fuel mileage like colder weather longer time idling to warm up the engine getting caught in traffic jams, or higher percentage of time on the highway vs in town city driving between fuel tanks.

    At wide open throttle acceleration your car probably consumes about 20-25 gallons per hour or 1/3 of a gallon of gasoline a minute. A single trip where you are driving hard can burn up an additional 1-2 gallons of fuel by making a few full throttle accelerations to merge into traffic.

    ALL things need to be as equal as possible to even detect the difference in fuel consumption between straight gasoline and E10 and the difference in fuel consumption on E85 and gasoline will vary by so much due to these driving considerations that any fuel consumption figures base on less than 500 miles of similar driving can be off by a factor of 2 -3.

    My figures are based on weeks of careful driving the same route at the same time of day in the same way (as close as a human can accomplish that). Believe them or don’t.

    I can get that large of a difference in fuel consumption (25-30) miles per tankful on the exact same fuel on two consecutive fill up’s due to conditions beyond my control, like a single long trip on the highway vs commuting to work in rush hour traffic. A 3 day cold snap, or a dozen other variables. You are fooling yourself if you think using when the fill light comes on is a useful method of “guessing” your actual fuel mileage.

    Use that method on the same fuel bought from the same station over 5 or 10 tankfuls and see if you don’t see that same sort of variation from tank to tank.

    Larry

  72. Poptech, I agree get the GD government out of our faces. And no I have never taken a dime from the government. Most of those dollars have some pretty nasty strings attached. but you have to look real hard to find them.

    Please remember there are 1.5 million people out their raising food that you eat and making less than minimum wage if you look at profit vs hours worked. “Just ten percent of America’s largest and richest farms collect almost three-fourths of federal farm subsidies…” http://www.ewg.org/farmsubsidies

    Who Are the VEETC’s Real Winners?
    Since the ethanol industry got off the ground, its lobbies have defended the tax credit and the RFS mandate by stressing the positive local economic benefits of ethanol production and plant ownership.12 It’s worth taking a hard look at those claims, too…..

    Notice who didn’t get mentioned? Not a word about local farmers, rural communities or consumers? The Association leaves no doubt what its priorities are.

    The Association’s Urbanchuk also likes to talk about local farmer ownership of ethanol plants. In 2007, he said “farmer-owned ethanol plants account for half of U.S. fuel ethanol plants and almost 40 percent of industry capacity.” At best, that’s an embellishment. Only 43 percent of U.S. ethanol plants were farmer-owned that year, and today the percentage is just 19 percent. And the share total ethanol production capacity that comes from farmer-owned plants is down to 16 percent….”

    http://www.ewg.org/report/Will-the-Real-Ethanol-Beneficiaries-Please-Stand-Up

    I strongly suggest you read History, HACCP and the Food Safety Con Job, it is a well researched piece.

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/History-HACCP-and-the-Foo-by-Nicole-Johnson-090906-229.html

    Also the Pew Report: http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/Industrial_Agriculture/PCIFAP_FINAL.pdf

    And finally 2007 Farm Policy by Food and Water Watch
    http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/agricultural-policy/us-farmbill/Farm%20Bill%20April%202007.pdf

    You might also want to read one of my articles: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Russian-response-to-the-ne-by-gail-combs-090321-728.html

  73. Climategate and carbon taxes, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):
    America Deceived II (book)</a

  74. Energy storage. That is the holy grail. Find something with the same amount of energy as a barrel of oil with relatively the same dimensions, that can be stored for the same amount of time, and then you have my full attention. It’s hard to beat nature isn’t it?

  75. The Gore-tanic

    is anchored ashore.

    Never again to sail the green and bountiful seas. (UN-fettered?)

    She’s afraid Climategate has more

    In store.

  76. Friends:

    Anybody who studied the subject could have predicted that introduction of biofuels would be a serious mistake. And I did predict it. So, nobody can claim their promotion of adoptionof biofuels was other than a serious error.

    In August 2006 I wrote a paper that made several predictions concerning probable effects that would result if biofuels were introduced in the US and EU as was then being suggested. It can be read at

    http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/courtney_082006.pdf

    Later, in December 2008 I provided an assessment of those predictions following the introduction of biofuels, and that assessment can be read at

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/biofuel_issues.pdf

    The synopsis of the assessment says:

    “This paper reviews effects of large use of biofuels that I predicted in a paper published in August 2006 prior to the USA legislating to enforce displacement of crude oil products by biofuels. The review indicates that policies (such as that in the EU), subsidies and legislation (such as that in the USA) to promote use of biofuels should be reconsidered. The use of biofuels is causing significant problems but providing no benefits except to farmers. Biofuel usage is a hidden subsidy to farmers, and if this subsidy is the intended purpose of biofuel usage then more direct subsidies would be more efficient. But the problems of biofuel usage are serious. Biofuel usage is

    • damaging energy security,
    • reducing biodiversity,
    • inducing excessively high food prices, and
    • inducing excessively high fuel prices, while
    • providing negligible reduction to greenhouse gas emissions.

    All these effects were predicted in my paper on the use of biofuels that was published in August 2006 and can be seen at

    http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/courtney_082006.pdf

    My 2006 paper also predicted objections from environmentalists if large use of biofuels were adopted although this then seemed implausible because many environmentalists were campaigning for biofuels to displace fossil fuels. But this prediction has also proved to be correct.”

    Al Gore now admits,
    “It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol”
    and
    “It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

    I have nothing printable to say in response to these admissions from Mr Gore.

    Richard

  77. Larry

    I drive consistently over the same route. I know my vehicle. I know exactly what to expect from a tank of fuel. My car has a small tank, so keeping track of it isn’t very hard. Furthermore it isn’t something I just tried one time to see what might happen. I watched it for some time, and noted the patterns.

    See when my gas light comes on, I go to the gas (now, with ethanol filler) station, and buy more, and the little pump tells me how much of it I bought. My light is quite consistent based on my fuel purchases, but I do check it against those purchases, and I can usually guess how much it will hold to within a 5th of a gallon or so.

    In all honesty, I didn’t really have an opinion on ethanol until I realized what an impact it had on my mileage. Now I hate it with a passion.

    The point of the mileage difference is moot now anyway as consumers have no choice, at least until the Feds start to force 15 or 20 percent on us (when I’ll be desperate for E10, I suppose).

  78. Poptech,

    I am not a farmer, only involved with agriculture and do not receive subsidies of any kind. As far as corn ethanol having any impact on world hunger, where is the proof of that assertion?? When you start to complain about the millions of acres in the CRP (conservation reserve program), or the millions of acres that grow cotton and also contribute nothing to the food chain then you may have some credibility.
    You ethanol bashers do realize that nearly half of the USDA budget goes for food stamps?? Most farmers would prefer that there be no farm subsidies, as those payments come with strings attached and hoops to junp through dictated by the government agencies that run those programs.
    Ethanol will survive as a competitive fuel if given a fair chance in the market place as it has been operating profitably even with $5.00/bushel corn. The rack price of ethanol is @2.25/gallon and 2.9 gallon is produced/bushel. That makes the income from ethanol $6.50/bushel. The value of the 18 pounds of DDGs’ is @$1.00/bushel which goes to livestock feed making the total revenue $7.50/bushel. Currently the net margin after expenses is $.20-.30/gallon depending on the efficiencies of any particular plant which equals $.57-.87/bushel or a return on investment of 10-20%. As you recall the blenders credit goes primarily to oil companies who blend the final product.
    For Richard S. Courtney

    How pray tell does ethanol dictate the price of fuel?? I had no idea that a product that comprises less than 10% of the supply could be the regulating factor in the price of energy. Is that why natural gas is 1/3 the price today that it was in 2008, while the price of oil has gone from $50/b yarrel to over $80/barrel??? Most ethanol plants use natural gas as their fuel source.
    By the way, the Ford model T was designed to burn ethanol as its’ primary fuel.

  79. When the oil industry that is over 100 years old, then you can stop the blenders credit that goes to them anyway, not the ethanol plants or the individuals that own them.

    Another myth being spewed here is all the bunk about corporate industries in the business of farming. The vast majority of crop production, over 95% of product then is run by family farms. If you want to talk about livestock, the vast majority of chickens are raised and marketed by the Tyson’s of the world and they really want cheap corn subsidised by the government to feed along with the corporate cattle feeders and hog corporations, eggs also.

  80. hotrod (Larry L),

    The EPA tested just about every FFV being sold in 2011 and they all have reduced MPG and driving range when using crappy E85,

    2011 Fuel Economy Guide
    (PDF) (EPA)

    “At current prices of $3.09 for premium fuel (which my car requires) “

    No one who is seriously discussing fuel economy talks about premium fuel which is only required on a very small percentage of automobiles (mainly sports cars).

    The price of E85 is artificially low thanks to the .45 cent a gallon subsidy disregarding the BTU adjustment (which is legitimate) and other subsidies that effect the price of Ethanol.

  81. Cropdoc,

    There is plenty of proof,

    Biofuel use ‘increasing poverty’ (BBC, June 25, 2008)
    Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis (The Guardian, UK, July 3, 2008)

    “Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.”

    But who care about the poor right? Let them eat Ethanol!

    Corn prices touch 2-year high – Climb adds to concerns of another food crisis (CBC, December 12, 2010)

    “The USDA estimated that, in 2010-11, the ethanol industry will consume 4.7 billion bushels, more than a third of the crop. Barclays Capital analysts said in a report issued Monday that U.S. corn production is on track for the third-highest level on record. At the same time, high consumption levels and demand for corn exports are taking U.S. corn supplies to their lowest levels in 14 years. “The global corn market … suddenly finds itself on thin ice,” the report concluded. Traders worry prices could return to $6 a bushel, a level not seen since the food crisis of 2007 and 2008, which triggered riots in poor countries.”

    Good for those on the dole, bad for the starving masses.

    I don’t support the CRP in any way as I want all government regulation and subsidies over the U.S. agriculture industry abolished. Your cotton argument is a strawman as it has nothing to do with burning food.

    There is no such thing as a “fair” chance. There is simply a chance of which it cannot survive because it is not economically viable with oil without the government mandates and subsidies. All your pricing is government distorted and do not represent true market pricing.

  82. Lets risk our firefighter’s lives too just to keep the Ethanol Lobby well fed with American tax dollars,

    Ethanol Fuels Fire Concerns (Fox News)

    The nation’s drive to use more alternative fuel carries a danger many communities have been slow to recognize: Ethanol fires are harder to put out than gasoline ones and require a special type of firefighting foam.

    Many fire departments around the country don’t have the foam, don’t have enough of it, or are not well-trained in how to apply it, firefighting experts say. It is also more expensive than conventional foam.

    The problem is that water doesn’t put out ethanol fires, and the foam that has been used since the 1960s to smother ordinary gasoline blazes doesn’t work well against the grain-alcohol fuel.

    Wrecks involving ordinary cars and trucks are not the major concern. They carry modest amounts of fuel, and it is typically a low-concentration, 10 percent blend of ethanol and gasoline. A large amount of conventional foam can usually extinguish such fires.

    Instead, the real danger involves the many tanker trucks and railcars that are rolling out of the Corn Belt with huge quantities of 85 or 95 percent ethanol and carrying it to parts of the country unaccustomed to dealing with it.

    The risk is more than theoretical. Over the past several years, ethanol accidents on highways, along railroads and in storehouses and refineries have triggered evacuations and fires from Texas to Minnesota, injuring several people and killing at least one person.

    Water is not used against gasoline fires, because it can spread the blaze and cause the flames to run down into drains and sewers. Instead, foam is used to form a blanket on top of the burning gasoline and snuff out of the flames. But ethanol _ a type of grain alcohol often distilled from corn _ eats through that foam and continues to burn.

    Such fires require a special alcohol-resistant foam that relies on long-chain molecules known as polymers to smother the flames. Industry officials say the special foam costs about 30 percent more than the standard product, at around $90 to $115 for a five-gallon container.”

  83. Ethanol is far less hazardous than gasoline in the event of a spill. Most spills do not pose a large fire hazard as ethanol vaporizes at higher temperatures than gasoline. It also does not pose a threat to groudwater as the MTBE product it replaced. Hundreds of wells have been contaminated by MTBE the product in gasoline that Ethanol replaced as an oxygenate to improve the exhaust emmissions over gasoline burning only. How many people have been killed during your period of time that 1 poor individual died from an ethanol spill, and was that individual killed by the accident or the actual fire itself, from gasoline spills or refinery fires. There have been zero fatalities at ethanol refineries for I don’t know how long, if ever actually, or storage facilities.

  84. First article:No real facts mentioned here only speculation.

    Second article: What about our own US. governments claim that ethanol was responsible for 3% of the food price increase in 2006,2007. Corn went from $7.00 on the board to below $4.00/bushel in a period of 5 months during that market. Meanwhile fertilizer prices tripled going from $350/ton for nitrogen to over $1000/ton. P & K the other primary nutrients applied increased in similar fashion for the 2008 crop year. Was that the result of ethanol or oil?? During that same time frame oil went from below $40/barrel to over $140/barrel, a coincidence?? hardly.

    What do you propose that we use as a replacement for fossil fuels if biofuels are not a part of the solution? The agricultural sector has shown that it can meet the needs of both the livestock sector, the export market, and still be used for liquid fuel production. You do realise that windmill farms take out nearly 2 acres of food production per windmill FOREVER.
    Why would cotton acres not be part of thrde food argument? Cotton acres can grow soybeans, corn, wheat or other crops for that matter. Wool on the other hand comes from sheep, a meat animal that is raised primarily on grasslands unsuited for row crop production without serious environmental damage to the land.

    Third article: Since then corn prices collasped $.60/bushel in 3 days to around $5.25/bushel on the Chicago board of trade. The actual price paid to growers varies depending on the local market which is normally $.30-.60/bushel less than quoted on the board.

  85. Cropdoc:

    You ask me:
    “How pray tell does ethanol dictate the price of fuel?? I had no idea that a product that comprises less than 10% of the supply could be the regulating factor in the price of energy.”

    I did not say that !

    I said;
    “Biofuel usage is … inducing excessively high fuel prices.”

    You would have understood that if you had read either of my two papers that I linked. My 2008 paper is at

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/biofuel_issues.pdf

    and it says:
    “No subsidies would be needed if biofuel were economically competitive with the gasoline they displace. Oil prices have soared 40 percent this year but the palm oil has jumped by two-thirds. So now palm oil costs an astonishing US$735 a tonne compared to crude a bargain at about US$593 a tonne. Furthermore, the energy from a tonne of palm oil is less than that from a tonne of crude.

    Biomass feedstocks have to be processed to obtain alcohol or ethanol for use as biofuel and crude has to be refined to obtain gasoline.

    Ethanol is being used throughout the U.S. as an additive of 10% blended with gasoline. The result has been increased fuel costs for US drivers. In the two months following introduction of this additive at the start of May 2006, demand for ethanol caused its price to rise about 65% to around $4.50 a gallon in U.S. spot markets, according to the Oil Price Information Service. This is much more expensive than gasoline which costs about $2.90 a gallon at the pump so the direct effect is to raise the price at the pump to $3.06 (a price rise of 16%) without taking into consideration costs of transporting and blending the ethanol. The Wall Street Journal commented, 19 June 2006, “Analysts say this has set up a lesson straight out of the Economics
    101 textbook: If you add an ingredient to a product that is pricier than the product itself, in effect, you’re driving up the price of the product”.

    The existence of the large subsidies for biofuels is – of itself – direct evidence that the use of biofuels is raising fuel prices.”

    And the subsidies are both an expensive cost and a gross market distortion. My 2008 paper also says this:

    “The US situation is especially strange. The US provides a tariff of 54 cents a gallon on ethanol from Brazil. Then the government provides a tax break of 51 cents a gallon to American ethanol producers in addition to generous subsidies that corn growers already receive under the farm program. (As explained in Section 2.3, the trade restrictions are causing problems for Brazil’s ethanol producers.) Hence, the US provides large incentives for US farmers to convert from food to biofuel production.

    Meanwhile, the US is exporting much of the product.

    Since the start of the 2007, US biodiesel comanies have flooded the European markets with cheap fuel. The volumes are so large that they account for more than 50% of EU demand for biodiesel.

    Some EU companies (e.g. including Biofuels Corporation, the UK’s largest producer, and listed group D1 Oils) say the glut of cheap American imports could drive many firms out of business.

    American companies have been exploiting federal government subsidies and rebates offered by European countries. Under the US scheme, biodiesel producers are paid a subsidy of $1 per gallon, or 11p per litre. But the groups can also claim 20p per litre in excise duty rebates by importing biofuels to the UK, thus, in effect, ‘double dipping’ on tax relief.

    According to a recent report by accountants Ernst & Young, US biofuel exports to Europe were expected to reach more than 500,000 tonnes by the end of 2007. In Germany, some biodiesel refiners have cut their output by 50%, though there are fears this could lead to an 80% fall by the end of 2007.”

    So, Cropdoc, I would be grateful in future if you were to read a paper I wrote before you comment on it.

    Richard

  86. Poptech says:
    November 23, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    hotrod (Larry L),

    The EPA tested just about every FFV being sold in 2011 and they all have reduced MPG and driving range when using crappy E85,

    2011 Fuel Economy Guide
    (PDF) (EPA)

    Actually the EPA did not test every car, those tests are run by the manufactures on mostly pre-production prototype cars, on a chassis dyno according to a pre-specified computer controlled driving cycle. EPA only verifies a small percentage of the test results. The test also is inappropriate, because it does not simulate real world conditions.

    A car running E85 behaves differently than the same car on gasoline. It makes about 5% or more power and torque and will pull loads in higher gears that it cannot pull on gasoline. The engine is more tolerant of lugging under load and will pull up into its power band when the same engine on gasoline would stall and buck or require the driver to down shift. This leads to less down shifting for hills, less throttle tip in on acceleration and earlier upshift to a higher gear for real drivers in real traffic conditions. Engines run cooler with less heat (fuel energy) lost to the cooling system as well.

    That standardized driving cycle eliminates one of the reasons E85 fuel mileage in the real world does not drop as much as theory says it should, due to differences in fuel energy. The engine is more efficient running on E85 and recovers more useful work from the fuel that it does on gasoline.

    Yes you are correct, all those cars get lower fuel mileage on E85 than they do on gasoline, but that is not due to the fuel. It is because the manufactures are doing a horrible job of designing the FFV’s. The only reason they are offering FFV vehicles is to get CAFE credits toward their fleet average fuel mileage. The CAFE standard averages the fuel mileage on gasoline and the fuel mileage on E85 x 6.66, so a FFV that gets 15 mpg on E85 and 25 mpg on gasoline is not credited with a combined fuel mileage of 20 mpg as you would expect but the a value of 62.45 mpg. This is then rolled into the fleet average calculations to determine the manufactures fleet average fuel mileage.

    (25 + (15 x 6.66))/2

    As a consequence, if they can get the damn thing to start and run on E85 that is good enough to get the maximum fuel credit allowed of 1.2 mpg for the fleet. They have zero incentive to get anything that approaches acceptable fuel mileage on E85. They get 25% fuel mileage reductions per gallon on E85 when they should be getting less than 10%. A few model cars have actually achieved 15% reductions which would be impossible if fuel mileage was actually related to fuel energy content per gallon.

    Don’t hold the fuel responsible for incompetent bureaucrats, stupid regulations and cost accounting that make it useless for manufactures to even attempt to accomplish descent fuel mileage on their FFV’s.

    All they need to do, is make them run well enough that the buyer will not come back to the dealership and ask for warranty repair.

    “At current prices of $3.09 for premium fuel (which my car requires) “

    No one who is seriously discussing fuel economy talks about premium fuel which is only required on a very small percentage of automobiles (mainly sports cars).

    You obviously have not been paying attention, because there are quite a few cars that list premium as the recommended fuel, and they are not all sports cars.

    Even so, E85 is still cheaper than regular gasoline.

    On regular gasoline my fuel mileage drops to about 23 mpg vs 22 mpg on E85. Regular gasoline sells for $2.69/gallon so it still costs more at 11.7 cents a mile, vs 10.409 cents per mile on E85. That would save me about $200 a year in fuel costs to use E85 over regular. Not to mention avoiding the crappy performance that would result from using 87 octane gasoline in a car designed for premium fuel. When compared to Premium E85 saves me $370 dollars a year in fuel costs. Of course it is still worse if I actually use a gasoline capable of giving the same performance as E85, that would be $6-$10 per gallon racing gasoline.

    Larry

  87. Ethanol is far less hazardous than gasoline in the event of a spill.

    Hazardous and dangerous to deal with when on fire are two different things,

    Lets get opinions from real fire fighters not the Ethanol Lobby,

    The Trouble With Ethanol (Industrial Fire World)

    “Once again, sweeping changes are afoot and the fire service is the last to be asked for an opinion. Remember Halon? Likewise, firefighters have been left out of the debate about ethanol.

    Whether blended with gasoline or not, ethanol is highly flammable. Ethanol burns different from gasoline. On the bright side, it is an almost smokeless fire. Unlike alcohol, it has a red visible flame. On the not so bright side, pure ethanol has a flash point of only 55 degrees F. Add 15 percent water and the flashpoint rises to 68 degrees F. Diluted down to a 24 percent solution, ethanol has a flash point of 97 degrees F, so it is still flammable.

    At 10 percent, ethanol is still combustible. That means that if you had a spill involving a 100,000 gallon tanker you could dilute it with as much as 900,000 gallons of water and still have a fire hazard. Good luck finding that kind of water. Other than a small spill on the highway, diluting ethanol is out. Picking up that small spill with absorbent materials designed for hydrocarbon is likely to be difficult too. The ethanol may be left behind as if it were water.

    Dealing with ethanol on fire involves using an ATC (alcohol type concentrate) foam specifically designed for polar solvents. Straight AFFF and protein foam will not work. A fire department with an extensive stockpile of the wrong kind of foam would be on the same footing as the poorest rural VFD equipped with no more than fire axes and good intentions.

    Even with the right kind of foam, fighting a polar solvent fire is no cake walk. I remember a burning 160-foot diameter storage tank in Texas City. Even with a foam blanket six to eight feet deep, flames were still visible. It took four days to bring that one under control.

    How much ATC foam will you need in addition to your standard stockpile? Using ATC on an ethanol fire will require double to four times the amount of foam used to extinguish a gasoline fire of the same size. That makes it not only a matter of expense but logistics. [...]

    If the ethanol is ignited, the track record of extinguishing large quantities of it is not real good. The most recent incident of note was in October when 23 cars of an 86-car train derailed in New Brighton, PA. Among the burning wreckage were nine cars of ethanol. Since 2000, there have been at least 26 major fires in the U.S. involving polar solvents, of which 14 were ethanol plant fires and three were ethanol tanker fires. In addition there have been six train derailments, five with fires. Polar solvent tank fires have been reported in Sydney, Australia; Bayonne, N.J. and Texas City, TX. In almost every case, those tanks burned to the ground.

    It also does not pose a threat to groudwater as the MTBE product it replaced.

    Who cares about MTBE? There shouldn’t be any government mandated additives or blends of gasoline.

    What about our own US. governments claim that ethanol was responsible for 3% of the food price increase in 2006,2007.

    That was mentioned in the article,

    “Senior development sources believe the report, completed in April, has not been published to avoid embarrassing President George Bush.”

    What do you propose that we use as a replacement for fossil fuels if biofuels are not a part of the solution?

    The market can decide what we use next. Government planning has never worked and will never work trying to pick winners in the economy. If Ethanol truly is a viable replacement for gasoline at a certain price point than it should prove itself without any government mandates or subsidies. You don’t seem to understand much about markets.

    You seem confused on who you are talking to if you think I support wind power. BTW Wind Power relates to electrical generation not a transportation fuel like oil.

    Burning cotton would not directly effect food prices, it would effect things like clothing prices. Your strawman argument has no legs because with U.S. Ethanol you are directly burning food (corn).

    Don’t be so scare of the American consumer simply because they would put you out of business without the government welfare.

  88. Actually the EPA did not test every car, those tests are run by the manufactures on mostly pre-production prototype cars, on a chassis dyno according to a pre-specified computer controlled driving cycle. EPA only verifies a small percentage of the test results.

    Prove it.

    Yes you are correct, all those cars get lower fuel mileage on E85 than they do on gasoline, but that is not due to the fuel. It is because the manufactures are doing a horrible job of designing the FFV’s.

    Yes ALL the car manufacturers do not know how to design a FFV but you do! ROFLMAO!

    You obviously have not been paying attention, because there are quite a few cars that list premium as the recommended fuel, and they are not all sports cars.

    You missed where I said “mainly” sports cars?

    1. What is the standard grade of Gasoline the far majority of cars in the U.S. run on?

    Don’t hold the fuel responsible…

    I do because it is a substandard fuel compared to gasoline for the American consumer.

    Even so, E85 is still cheaper than regular gasoline.

    Not when adjusted for it’s BUT content and all the subsidies are removed that artificially reduce the price.

    Everything you have stated is unverifiable when I have been providing reliable sources to support everything I have stated.

    2. So you support removing all government mandates and subsidies on Ethanol?

  89. Richard S Courtney says:
    November 24, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Ethanol is being used throughout the U.S. as an additive of 10% blended with gasoline. The result has been increased fuel costs for US drivers. In the two months following introduction of this additive at the start of May 2006, demand for ethanol caused its price to rise about 65% to around $4.50 a gallon in U.S. spot markets, according to the Oil Price Information Service. This is much more expensive than gasoline which costs about $2.90 a gallon at the pump so the direct effect is to raise the price at the pump to $3.06 (a price rise of 16%) without taking into consideration costs of transporting and blending the ethanol. The Wall Street Journal commented, 19 June 2006, “Analysts say this has set up a lesson straight out of the Economics
    101 textbook: If you add an ingredient to a product that is pricier than the product itself, in effect, you’re driving up the price of the product”.

    You conveniently forgot to mention that this price spike was due to the abrupt phase out of MTBE due to its toxic contamination of ground water and the sudden surge in demand for Ethanol as the best replacement for MTBE. That need to suddenly shift product streams, was exploited by futures traders who knew the demand was going to spike and they drove up the cost of ethanol well above its true cost. Once that spike demand to fill up all the tanks formally used for MTBE and the industry adapted to the sudden surge in demand, ethanol prices dropped back down to prices competitive with gasoline.

    If you are going to tell the story best not leave out critical aspects that triggered the trading frenzy in ethanol futures and the artificial price spike it produced.

    As you can see here the same pressures resulted in speculative trading in corn futures that pushed corn to a price peak at the same time.

    http://inflationdata.com/inflation/images/charts/Corn/corn_inflation_chart.htm

    Corn prices have since dropped from that 2008 price peak to $5.43/bu while actual cost of production is estimated to be about $3.70/bu this year. Speculators are again driving up corn and ethanol prices in anticipation of future inflation.

    Rack prices for fuel ethanol reached a minimum of about $1.60/gallon this spring, while gasoline was in the low $2.00 range from $2.03 to $2.24/gallon During the same period, fuel ethanol rack price ranged from $1.60 to $1.86 per gallon. Both have recently gone up as speculators started gobbling up commodities due to inflation worries.

    Larry

  90. hotrod (Larry L):

    You assert to me:
    “You conveniently forgot to mention that this price spike was due to the abrupt phase out of MTBE due to its toxic contamination of ground water and the sudden surge in demand for Ethanol as the best replacement for MTBE.”

    No!
    Disagree with what I wrote if you like but do not mention an extraneous point then claim I “conveniently forgot” it.

    The fact is – and I explained it – that when a more expensive component is blended with a cheaper component then the resulting blend is more expensive than the cheaper component.

    I wrote, and you quoted me having written, this:

    “Ethanol is being used throughout the U.S. as an additive of 10% blended with gasoline. The result has been increased fuel costs for US drivers. In the two months following introduction of this additive at the start of May 2006, demand for ethanol caused its price to rise about 65% to around $4.50 a gallon in U.S. spot markets, according to the Oil Price Information Service. This is much more expensive than gasoline which costs about $2.90 a gallon at the pump so the direct effect is to raise the price at the pump to $3.06 (a price rise of 16%) without taking into consideration costs of transporting and blending the ethanol. The Wall Street Journal commented, 19 June 2006, “Analysts say this has set up a lesson straight out of the Economics 101 textbook: If you add an ingredient to a product that is pricier than the product itself, in effect, you’re driving up the price of the product”.”

    That is entirely true and the MTBE phase-out is not relevant to it.

    Richard

  91. Poptech says:
    November 24, 2010 at 12:55 am

    “If Ethanol truly is a viable replacement for gasoline at a certain price point than it should prove itself without any government mandates or subsidies. You don’t seem to understand much about markets.”

    Free markets don’t always serve the greater public good. Things like monopolies and price fixing can cause great harm. Ethanol could never be viable in the U.S. when the price of oil is being fixed by OPEC – they can simply lower their price until ethanol producers are forced out of the market then raise the price again once the competition is eliminated.

    Subsidizing corn probably wasn’t a good idea but sometimes you can’t know whether an idea is good or bad until you try it. Ostensibly the idea behind the subsidy was an incentive to shift crop production more towards corn and encourage investment in corn-to-alcohol production facilities until economy of scale negated the need for subsidies. The unintended consquence of higher food prices across the board should have been more evident.

    Where the subsidy needs to be applied is in R&D to lower the cost of production of ethanol from agricultural waste and other non-food sources that won’t adversly impact the production or price of food crops.

    That said it wasn’t a total waste. Valuable lessons were learned and infrastructure put in place that can be utilized regardless of the feedstock used for the ethanol production. One of the greatest things is a transportation fleet with engines able to self-adjust to up to 85% ethanol blended into gasoline. Ethanol production will eventually become economical – oil price will inevitably rise as easy-to-reach light sweet crude supplies diminish and ethanol production price will fall as technology to convert lower quality feedstocks improves. It’s only a matter of time.

  92. Free markets don’t always serve the greater public good. Things like monopolies and price fixing can cause great harm. Ethanol could never be viable in the U.S. when the price of oil is being fixed by OPEC – they can simply lower their price until ethanol producers are forced out of the market then raise the price again once the competition is eliminated.

    You have just repeated various economic myths,

    Predatory Pricing (Video) (7min) (Thomas E. Woods, Ph.D. History)

    The Myth of Predatory Pricing (Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Ph.D. Professor of Economics)

    OPEC does not control all of the world’s oil,

    - Only 40% of U.S. oil imports come from OPEC (EIA)

    Even less from the Middle East,

    - Only 14% of U.S. oil imports come from the Middle East (EIA)

    - The largest supplier of oil to the U.S. is Canada (EIA)
    - The second largest supplier of oil to the U.S. is Mexico (EIA)

    You are correct on one issue, there is a monopoly problem with oil and it is due to socialist governments not markets,

    - 95% of the world’s known oil and gas reserves are controlled by national oil companies (Forbes)

    To get a better understanding of how markets server the “public good” I suggest watching,

    Free to Choose (Milton Friedman, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Economics, Nobel Prize in Economics, 1976)

  93. Poptech,

    Seems to me you are putting words in my mouth, I was commenting on your statements here, not some paper you wrote that talks about biodiesel and palm oil. We are talking about ethanol for your information. Biodiesel has never been and will not be a viable alternative economically until the methodology is perfected to grow algae and extract the oils at a cost that is competitive with diesel fuels. By the way the use of soyoil of palm oil accounts for only 2.5% of the mixture.

    Back to ethanol and fires you forgot to talk about how many casualties there have been relating to gasoline fires and spills. As there is 90% more of it shipped around the country I’m sure there have been a lot more, I haven’t bothered to look those facts up. Maybe it was in your paper, but I doubt it.

    Talking about a price spike for ethanol that was very short term, making it look like it is the norm is at the very least deceptive of the reality of the situation. Ethanol is almost always cheaper than gasoline and has very little effect if any on the mpg of E10. Therefore under normal market conditions, ethanol lowers the cost of driving for the consumer, which somewhat offsets the cost of the blenders credit that goes to the oil companies. I’ve used up to 50% blend in my pickup and have seen very little difference in mileage. E85 does cause my mileage to drop @15%, but if I’m pulling my boat, the mileage is the same as regular E10 gets. The ethanol industry has as policy that they are in favor of ending the blenders credit, if and when the oil industry no longer recieves subsidies.

  94. Cropdoc,

    You are confusing my comments with the honorable Mr. Courtney.

    Obviously you will have more fires in total with the most commonly used transportation fuel over the past century, since the mandate for Ethanol has only been around since 1994 and production only seriously ramped up following the 2005 energy bill mandating much larger quantities. I was specifically addressing that putting out Ethanol fires is much more difficult which by default makes them more dangerous. Whether this immediately translates into more deaths is irrelevant to this fact.

    Ethanol is not cheaper than Gasoline once you properly adjust it for it’s lower BTU content and remove all the subsidies that artificially are keeping the price low.

    The subsidies the oil industry receives are a pittance compared to the ethanol industry and while ALL subsidies should be removed so should the burdensome taxes and regulations on the oil industry. Once they are all removed, Ethanol is simply not economically viable.

    “Big Oil” at the Public Trough? An Examination of Petroleum Subsidies (PDF) (Ronald J. Sutherland, Ph.D. Energy Economist)

    Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets 2007 (PDF) (EIA)

    Subsidy per million Btu: (2007 dollars)
    $0.03 – Petroleum Liquids
    $5.72 – Ethanol/Biofuels

    It is a joke to even compare the two.

  95. John Q. Galt:

    Your silly rant could not be more wrong. Please explain how a card carrying left wing socialist like me can be a right wing shill.

    And anybody can check the links I provided to see what I predicted and whether my assessment of those predictions was correct. To save anybody needing to scroll up to find them they are

    http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/courtney_082006.pdf

    and

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/biofuel_issues.pdf

    Richard

  96. Poptech,

    Your comment on burning cotton is hilarious. I never suggested that, my point is that the acres that are used from year to year could be used to grow food crops and replaced with acres that are not suitable for row crops like corn, soybeans, wheat.

    You apparently seem to think that farmers only plant 1 crop on any acres they farm. For your information, farmers rotate crops to enhance yields and the efficiencies of fertilizer use. For someone who seems to think you know it all about agriculture and the effects of converting a portion of the corn crop to fuel you sure do lack any understanding of the farming system.
    To me it is obvious that ethanol is a viable system as ethanol plants have been making money for over 90% of the time they operate, those that have gone under did so because they took undue risks in the marketplace and suffered the consequences of poor decisions. They are making money currently, why do you think Valero has become a major player in ethanol in the last 2 years, they apparently feel it is a viable industry.

    I checked on the fire safety of ethanol and it may be more difficult to put out said fire, but the truth is they occur far less often by percentage and there have been very few deaths as a result. Meanwhile gasoline is responsible for hundreds of deaths every year by car fires, inhaling fumes, explosions enviromental damage. Does the gulf oil spill come to mind??

    In 10 years time the national corn crop will likely exceed 16 to 17 billion bushels of corn/year and of that the ethanol industry will use @ 5 billion bushels of corn to produce the 15 billion gallons of ethanol that is allowed under the mandates. The remaining biofuels that are a part of the 22 billion gallons total will have to come from corn residues, wood wasted, grasslands, surgarcane or other sources for ethanol production.

    Oh, then the subsidies that oil receives is @ 310 billion dollars worldwide, while ethanol is less than 10 billion dollars worldwide. Looks like oil is getting about the same benefits as ethanol. Almost all the articles I found really hammered the subsidies on oil and were much different than the articles you tried to use to support your argument. Ethanol can compete very well with gas, if given the same access to the marketplace, which is why the mandates are in place and also to make gasoline less damaging to the environment using ethanol as the oxygenate that helps gasoline burn more efficiently which explains how you get the same mileage using up to 30% ethanol blends even though there are fewer BTU’s in ethanol. Ethanol has a much higher octane rating, thus that is how you maintain mileage even though you are using a lower btu product.

  97. Dave Springer,

    I enjoy reading your posts, but this comment needs clarification:

    “Free markets don’t always serve the greater public good. Things like monopolies and price fixing can cause great harm.”

    First, monopolies are by definition not the ‘free market,’ nor is price fixing. Regulation is sometimes necessary to ensure a level playing field, but regulation evenly applied is neither a monopoly nor price fixing.

    The consumer is best served by the free market, which in the long run results in the lowest prices. It is true that there are occasional hiccups in any market that can cause price disruptions, but in a true free market they are always temporary.

    Not so with monopolies, which always result in higher prices to the end users. FedEx and UPS would have put the USPS out of business long ago if the post office was not enshrined as a monopoly in the U.S. Constitution.

    Regulation is often confused with the free market. Adam Smith pointed out that left to their own devices, shop owners will always conspire to set prices. Regulations outlawing those practices are not contrary to free markets.

    The promotion of ethanol is much like the promotion of MTBE in gasoline. MTBE suppliers conspired to use government police power to put an unnecessary ingredient into gasoline, making the end product inferior in quality and more expensive.

    Vested interests conspired to promote ethanol. Those interests reap financial rewards at the expense of customers. In a true free market ethanol might be a small niche product, but nothing more.

  98. Cropdoc,

    There is nothing funny about burning food. My comment about burning cotton is in direct relation to burning corn because that is the concern.

    Your strawman argument about what I think farmers plant is just that because I made no statement on any such thing.

    The fact that you think Ethanol is viable only demonstrates your economic illiteracy as there is nothing economically viable about government mandates and subsidies.

    I have seen no comprehensive study comparing ethanol to gasoline fires so your statement is meaningless. As I already stated you will have more fires in total with the most commonly used U.S. transportation fuel over the past century, since the mandate for Ethanol has only been around since 1994 and production only seriously ramped up following the 2005 energy bill mandating much larger quantities.

    I’ve already went over the subsidies,

    Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets 2007 (PDF) (EIA)

    Subsidy per million Btu: (2007 dollars)
    $0.03 – Petroleum Liquids
    $5.72 – Ethanol/Biofuels

    As you can see they are no where near equivalent. Using your silly total dollar amount for a fuel that is used at a ratio of 9 to 1 at least is nonsense. The dollar amount must be properly calculated into actual energy produced as the above numbers represent. Since you apparently missed my other comments it is of no surprise where you missed where I stated that I want ALL subsidies repealed. Once the mandate and subsidies are repealed it will NOT be competitive with oil.

    Government Mandates do not “provide access to markets”, they artificially force usage of something that is not economically viable.

    You don’t get the same mileage with even 10% of Ethanol. The American Coalition for Ethanol finds average fuel economy reductions for E10, E20, and E30 of 1.43%, 2.15%, and 5.08% compared to regular unleaded gasoline.

    Ethanol fuels have not been independently shown to provide the same fuel economy as gasoline.

  99. also to make gasoline less damaging to the environment using ethanol as the oxygenate that helps gasoline burn more efficiently

    This is a myth,

    Ethanol in gasoline: environmental impacts and sustainability review article
    (Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp. 535-555, December 2005)
    - Robert K. Niven

    The study indicates that E10 is of debatable air pollution merit (and may in fact increase the production of photochemical smog); offers little advantage in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency or environmental sustainability; and will significantly increase both the risk and severity of soil and groundwater contamination. In contrast, E85 …will produce significant air pollution impacts, involves substantial risks to biodiversity, and its groundwater contamination impacts and overall sustainability are largely unknown.”

  100. Poptech,

    Your last so called proof has been shown to be so full of inaccuracies and false assumptions that it is really not worth responding to,but will just so you know it is a pitiful argument on your part.

    Glad to see you want all subsidies ended, for all entities, cut government to the bone I say.

    When talking about fuel economy please explain your conclusion when here are the facts of the situation according to you. E10 reduces mpg by 1.43%, yet E10 contains 4.08% fewer BTU’s. E20 reduces mpg by 2.15% you say, yet it has 7.84% fewer BTU’s /gallon. Then E30 reduces mpg by 11.76%, when the BTU content is only 5.08% lower in BTU’s. Lastly, I see a 15% reduction in mpg when using E85, only when I’m not pulling something, yet the BTU content is 39.2% lower. Please explain how it is that you get better efficiency of BTU/gallon of fuel when adding ethanol to the mix???
    A 2008 study done by the U of Nebraska has shown that there are 13 gallons of ethanol produced for every 1 gallon liquid petroleum used. The overall net energy gain is between 1.5 to 1.6 return for every 1 btu expended. Not bad for an industry that just really got going 20 years ago. Today the crush margin as of Nov 22 $.595/bushel of corn utilized for ethanol production. Even if you applied all of the “blenders credit” to the ethanol plants they would be profitable, and have been profitable for a long time now. At the time the huge expansions took place in 2006 the crush margin exceeded $4.00/bushel, which is why there was such a large infusion of outside investment into the industry from outside of the agricultural producer owned ethanol plants. I say follow the money and you will get the evidence about the viability of a business. Ethanol is profitable with or without the blenders credit and is a net gain for energy, why should it not be part of the energy solution?

    Oh and the cotton acres thing, you still don’t get it. Those acres could be used to grow food, as coul the CRP acres that produce nothing today except “good feelings” by the wacky environmentalists. There is more wildlife around a corn field than any CRP field, hint it has more food available. By 2030 it is projected that corn yields will nearly double from today’s levels, which will mean net gain for energy will become nearly 2.5 to 1. The reason is that most of the gain will be from the corn plant efficiencies, not an increase in inputs. The point is we can use corn for energy today, just like we did 100 years ago when every acre was farmed using horsepower, again using “food for fuel”.

    I will obviously not change your mind about this subject, but I would ask you to be open to the possibility that an industry can become more viable as it hones its’ business model and the processes that make it go. Ethanol is a success story, regardless of your opinions and will be a part of the energy equation wether you like it or not.
    Have a great day

  101. Cropdoc,

    My last proof was as scientific as they come, a peer-reviewed paper demonstrating that E10 is not as environmentally friendly as claimed. There is nothing pitiful about it.

    Do you want ALL Ethanol subsidies and mandates abolished? Yes or No?

    My statement on fuel efficiency was simply to reject yours (that there is no loss in MPG using ethanol blends). I intentionally used the American Coalition for Ethanol so you could not dismiss the source.

    What “you see” is not verifiable and any statements made like this are worthless.

    You don’t source anything so it is not possible to verify any of your statements. Regardless the study you mention like the rest that state positive energy gains fail to properly account for ALL inputs of energy that go into ethanol production.

    Ethanol Fuels: Energy Balance, Economics, and Environmental Impacts Are Negative
    (Natural Resources Research, Volume 12, Number 2, pp. 127-134, June 2003)
    - David Pimentel

    “In the U.S. ethanol system, considerably more energy, including high-grade fossil fuel, is required to produce ethanol than is available in the energy-ethanol output. Specifically about 29% more energy is used to produce a gallon of ethanol than the energy in a gallon of ethanol. Fossil energy powers corn production and the fermentation/distillation processes.”

    The blenders credit is just one of the subsides that go into corn farming to produce ethanol. It is not the only one. Without the subsidies and mandates ethanol production would not only not be profitable it would not exist.

    You have to be kidding. The huge expansion in 2006 is related to the 2005 energy bill! It mandated a dramatic increase in ethanol usage of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012.

    Have you ever studied economics, seriously? Government mandates and subsidies are not needed for economically viable industries.

    I understand your strawman argument about cotton. No one is arguing about growing food vs textile crops. I am arguing about growing and burning food crops.

    I already stated I want to completely deregulate the agricultural industry in the U.S. and that would mean abolishing the CRP. Why do you keep repeating the same strawman arguments I already addressed?

    Not only do you not understand economic but you have no remote idea about energy. Why would we want to reverse course and return today’s America to a carbohydrate-fueled economy? Why should we use a more inefficient, less dense form of energy?

    There is no mind to open. If you have an elementary understanding of economics, you understand what economic viability is and it is not an industry propped up with welfare and mandates.

  102. Pimentals’ study has been found to TOTALLY full of false and outdated information. His conclusions have been totally debunked to the degree that anyone who uses his so called scientific studies to make an argument is really quite stupid. I don’t put up papers to make my argument, especially all the old studies that are entirely out of date by todays’ standards and efficiencies that are the ethanol industry.

    Do you really think that the oil companies would even offer to sell a product to the American consumer if it was not mandated?? If you do, you have no concept of competition in the marketplace, and for your information I have plenty of knowledge about economics as I have run my own company for many years now and tire of egg heads like yourself that do not understand how the real economy works, rather you are what I call educated idiots who can quote facts, but don’t know the first thing about how the world works, and couldn’t operate or run a business if they had to. What I really tire of is all the false statements that people like yourself espouse time and time again, regardless of the honest evidence that your facts are simply wrong, yet you keep with the liberal mantra that if we say it long enough people might actually believe the lies.

    I’m done with this subject. Someday you will realise that you are totally wrong, but somehow I doubt it.

  103. Cropdoc, please provide the published comment on his paper in a peer-reviewed journal that verifies your claims. If there was any scientific argument against his peer-reviewed paper it would be made via the peer-review process.

    Oil companies do not prevent anyone from selling alternative fuels. The only thing that could prevent that is the government. Clearly they would never sell a fuel produced by a competing company if it was not mandated.

    Your illogical argument is the equivalent of complaining that Coca Cola would never sell Coke made from 10% Pepsi without a government mandate. No kidding!

    I not only studied economics in college but also run my own successful business (so you attempt here fails as well). If you had a remote understanding of free-market economics you would not be supporting government mandates and subsidies as they are nothing more than welfare for the ethanol industry.

    Everything I have claimed I have supported with valid sources. You and Larry are the ones making unsubstantiated statements.

    None of my statements have been false.

    I don’t say it long enough, I reference my facts extensively.

    Actually the more I research this the more I realize how much the American taxpayer is being ripped off keeping an industry (Ethanol) that is not economically viable afloat.

    Sorry if I discredited all your propaganda about the ethanol industry.

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