End the Bioethanol Boondoggle

|

No corn pollution of our precious auto fluids!

This year the U.S. vehicle fleet will burn about 13 billion gallons of ethanol, the vast majority of which is made by fermenting corn. Just in time for the upcoming mid-term elections, the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month bowed to pressure from the ethanol lobby and farm state congressional delegations and increased the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. The ethanol lobby is now in full mobilization mode to protect the billions in subsidies which are set to expire at the end of this year. On the other hand, environmentalist organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council are fiercely arguing for letting the subsidies expire [PDF].

As of now, the federal government is mandating that U.S. vehicle fleet  burn 36 billion gallons of ethanol per year by 2022. Back in 2008, President Barack Obama promised to increase the ethanol mandate to 60 billion gallons by 2030. Keep in mind that the U.S. currently consumes about 140 billion gallons of gasoline per year.

The National Academy of Sciences' policy journal, Issues in Science and Technology, has just published a remarkably disturbing commentary, "The Dismal State of Biofuels Policy," [subscription required] about how much Americans taxpayers are likely to pay in the future for the privilege of burning food in their gas tanks. The commentary, citing estimates from the subsidy-tracking nonprofit Earth Track, is by University of Minnesota economist, C. Ford Runge and Cargill Foundation* president Robbin Johnson. From the article:

According to estimates by Earth Track founder, Douglas Koplow, if current laws are maintained until 2022, the biofuels industry will receive more than $60 billion per year in subsidies, more than six times the $9.5 billion in support received in 2008. Cumulative subsidies between 2018 and 2022 are expected to total $420 billion. If the Obama plan to require 60 billion gallons by 2030 comes to pass, subsidies in that year would be $125 billion, and cumulative support from 2008 to 2030 would be in excess of $1 trillion.

The commentary further cogently argues:

The specific role of biofuels is rising food costs is significant: The inflexibility of mandates helps cause price spikes when supplies are tight, and the increasing diversion of corn to fuel over time pushes up long-term prices.

And bioethanol subsidies even fail as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions cost effectively. A recent Congressional Budget Office report found that the costs to taxpayers of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the corn ethanol tax credits comes to about $750 per metric ton of carbon dioxide. For comparison, consider that a permit to emit one ton of carbon dioxide could be had for just over $20 per ton on the European Climate Exchange.

Let's hope the environmentalists win this one and that they persuade the denizens of Capitol Hill to let this costly and ineffective energy subsidy die.

Go here to get my impressions of a tour of a bioethanol plant last month in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

*For those few H&R commenters who reflexively indulge in simplistic follow-the-money "analyses" of viewpoints in place of actually exercising their critical faculties (and we all know who you are), please note that Cargill is the third-largest producer of ethanol in the U.S.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

88 responses to “End the Bioethanol Boondoggle

  1. Most small engines (lawnmowers etc) do not do well with ethanol and most have warnings not to use blended fuel that contains more then 10% ethanol… How is one supposed to find appropriate fuel when the mix goes up??

    1. Is there any other non ethanol substance you could blend into the gasoline+ethanol gas to decrease the percentage of ethanol? Without harming the engine? For example naptha, xylene, kerosene etc.?

      1. Is there any other non ethanol substance you could blend into the gasoline+ethanol gas to decrease the percentage of ethanol?

        Gasoline?

        1. I don’t think I have seen a pump offer ethanol free gasoline in quite some time….. Ethanol was once more or less seasonal, now it seems as if it is at every pump all year long….

        2. Can you even get if?

          1. Here in Oklahoma, you can still get 100% gasoline at many stations. However, anytime I’ve left the state in the last year or two I’ve been unable to find it anywhere.

    2. And I believe only newer cars can even handle 15% ethanol.

      Personally the only subsidy I want is for research into making cellulosic ethanol. If that can be made economic, we can make fuel out of farm waste and lawn clippings and such, instead of crops.

      1. The EPA approval is for model years 2007 and newer.

        This means that gas stations have to maintain two sets up pumps for E10 and E15. This will slow down the introduction of E15.

    3. I own hundreds of small engines. I can tell you from experience that ethanol is a horrible fuel.

      It’s corrosive and absorbs water. It acts as a solvent to a lot of older seals and gaskets.

      I’ve found that Star-Tron does quite a bit to offset the bad effects of ethanol.

      My question to politicians is “Why do I have to pay more money for a product that I have to spend even more money on in order to it make work?” Assholes, all of them.

    4. Kahn Mixes are NOT going up EXCEPT for 2007 and Newer Vehicles.. Lawnmowers etc are specifically “banned” from using E15.. You either use E0 or E10..

      The only way to use E15 is if you ACTIVELY select it…Like Diesel ..you wouldnt actively select Diesel for your lawnmower..same with E15 ..

      1. The only way to use E15 is if you ACTIVELY select it

        Except that the law mandated that a certain amount of ethanol be used in the entire country’s overall blend mix, and it’s physically impossible to get to that number of gallons of ethanol without substantial E15 use.

        So, yeah, it’s a “choice,” but it’s illegal for the refiners to fail to shove you into making the “right choice.”

        Engaging in that kind of deception and dishonesty makes it even easier for the rest of us to disregard the ethanol lobby’s bullshit next time. Thanks for continuing to discredit your cause!

  2. … the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month bowed to pressure from the ethanol lobby and farm state congressional delegations and increased the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent.

    Back in 2008, President Barack Obama promised to increase the ethanol mandate to 60 billion gallons by 2030.

    Well, you have to admit this is Change! if not much Hope! of a sensible environmental and energy policy.

    1. Back in 2008, President Barack Obama promised to increase the ethanol mandate to 60 billion gallons by 2030.

      Ron Bailey: Obama

      1. x,y: As I explained then: “The Republicans must be punished and punished hard.” Why? So that they might learn to behave better in the future. Some are now talking the talk, but in truth I don’t have great hopes for the GOPers. They are, after all, politicians.

        1. False choice, Ronny. Or would you have us believe the only — just one! — option available to “punish” the Republicans was to vote for Obama? You really want to peddle that bullshit here?

        2. That would be beautiful if there weren’t 300 million of us, regardless of party affiliation, being punished.

          Maybe the silver lining is that electing that lackwit set back the hopey, changey platform a couple of decades but that remains to be seen.

  3. This is infuriating. I saw a press release from some pro-ethanol group recently which claimed this new blend will save drivers “a few pennies per gallon” while neglecting to note the drop in mileage which will actually raise the cost per mile of driving.

    1. 1. E15 is only approved for 2007 and newer Vehicles.

      2. You may actually get BETTER MPG on E20, E30 or E40 according to Testing funded by DOE and ACE (and verified by many of our own members)

      7.0 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
      The EERC and MnCAR conducted vehicle fuel economy and emission testing on four
      2007 model vehicles. The vehicles tested included a flex-fuel Chevrolet Impala and three nonflex-
      fuel vehicles: a Ford Fusion, a Toyota Camry, and a Chevrolet Impala. This investigation
      utilized a range of ethanol blend levels from 0% to 85% in 10% increments. The primary
      objective of the investigation was to investigate the possible existence of a fuel economy-based
      optimal ethanol blend level, as determined by the HWFET, at which measured miles per gallon
      is greater than predicted based strictly on per-gallon fuel Btu content. A secondary objective was
      to acquire HWFET hot-start tailpipe emission data for all surveyed fuels. Following optimal
      blend level determination, cold-start emissions, as determined by FTP-75, were determined on
      the optimal blend level and Tier 2 gasoline.
      HWFET testing on ethanol blend levels of E20 in the flex-fuel Chevrolet Impala, E30 in
      the non-flex-fuel Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry, and E40 in the non-flex-fuel Chevrolet Impala
      resulted in miles-per-gallon fuel economy greater than predicted based on per-gallon fuel Btu

      content. It is notable that the non-flex-fuel vehicles obtained greater fuel economy at higher
      blends of ethanol than they were designed for. In the case of the flex-fuel Chevrolet Impala, the
      highway fuel economy was greater than calculated for all tested blends, with an especially high
      peak at E20. While only three non-flex-fuel vehicles were tested in this study, there is a strong
      indication that non-flex-fuel vehicles operated on optimal ethanol blend levels, which are higher
      than the standard E10 blend, can obtain better fuel mileage than predicted by fuel energy content.

  4. Why do libertarians hate the environment and struggling family farmers?

    McCain would have been worse much better.

  5. Let’s hope the environmentalists win this one

    The viros and other interested parties need to make the case to our uncomprehending selves that ethanol subsidies have a direct effect on our food prices. The corn-lobby leeches will counter that America must wean itself from those oil-producing countries who hate us, like Canada. This battle can be won, but only if we can make the case that corn subsidies are making rice more expensive, thereby putting America’s favorite foreign-owned beer, Budweiser, almost out-of-reach for America’s Families?.

    1. Well, I hate Canada. I can only assume the feeling is mutual. Why do you have to make me choose between Canada-hatred and rent-seeking farmer hatred?

      I’d rather trade with Canada *shudder* than keep supported this idiocy. I sure wish more people understood how stupid this is.

      1. I don’t hate Canada. They have pretty money, pretty women and acceptable whiskey.

        1. J sub D

          You are undermining Canada’s National Nerotic Insecurity!

          If you don’t stop, Canada will have no national identity at all!

          🙂

          (My home computer is fried, BTW, so I can only post at work. Which is why I haven’t been around. Say hi to ellie.)

  6. Playing devil’s advocate – E85 has detonation resistant qualities that are almost as good as C16 race gas. It’s true that you have to do a lot of work to adapt a gas fuel system to run ethanol (bigger injectors, stainless steel fuel lines, ECU remapping), but if you’re pushing the performance limit, especially in forced induction applications, you can get some really impressive gains.

    That aside, I would rather pay a market price for E85, or have it not available at all, than have gubmint spend $1 trillion in subsidies on ethanol over 20 years.

    1. Your performance gains come with increased fuel consumption relative to gasoline.

      1. With great power comes terrible fuel economy.

        I don’t think the kind of automotive enthusiast who is willing to drop $3,000 on a garret turbocharger is too worried about fuel economy. I’m not saying that E85 is right for everyone, only pointing out that it does have large benefits for a very small group. I mean we’re talking a 50-75 horsepower bump on a motor that previously made 250 on pump gas.

      2. Uh … increasing the output of energy produced by high-performance, low-MPG vehicles is not among the ostensible reasons usually touted for ethanol.

        1. As the point of the original commenter flies wildly over the heads of the subsequent responders, I laugh.

          Even intellectuals (and im not accusing ANY of you of that label) can sometimes want to argue so much they miss the obvious.

          E85, for the daily driver, is a boondoggle and sucks completely in almost every way. E85 for the 5% of the population that wants high power gains and are willing to make the mods and accept the downsides of those gains, its a great product.

          I hope that clears up what the OP was trying to say since a couple of you missed it completely.

          1. bondoondoggle for the average E85 Driver? LOL..

            We get 16% MPG in our Chevy HHR on E85 but I paid 18% to 26% less for E85 all summer in Minnesota http://e85prices.com/minnesota.html

            The New Buick Regal 2.0 Turbo will get the Same MPG on E85 as on Gas and you will see more of that as the Auto Industry transitions to more higher compression engines as well as Direct fuel injection..

            It’s all pretty simple when e85 is less expensive drive it…when gas is less expensive drive it..that’s the whole purpose of owning a flex fuel vehicle

            1. Go away shill. Just go away.

              There is less energy in a gallon of ethanol than in a gallon of gasoline.

              1. Not easy having to deal with facts is it

                less energy is pointless ..higher compression and direct injection and you get the same MPG.. You can run high compression with ethanol and increase mpg.(as well as more horsepower)

                1. It’s all pretty simple when e85 is massively subsidized by other people drive it

                  Fixed it for you, lying shill. If you count the incredible subsidies that we all pay, it’s not cheaper.

                  You may think that it’s free when you steal from others, but the rest of us have morals.

  7. When I think of all that ethanol going to waste in powering motor vehicles….

  8. Calling industrial corn “food” isn’t quite right. To become “food” it has to be processed into some other ingredient.

    It’s true that corn not used to make ethanol can be used to make “food” but on the whole, it’s not very nutritious food. Eh, maybe it would be best as livestock feed, since that’s where about half of it all goes anyway.

    1. Juice: It’s also called “feed corn” – it is transformed into delicious fats and proteins when consumed by cows, hogs, and chickens. 🙂

      1. Most of the animals we feed corn two were NEVER meant to eat corn and the only reason we feed them corn is because its subsidized.

        Chickens acn handle corn, their gullet is designed to properly break down the harsh pericarp and in turn process what they need from it…

        Cows on the other hand are meant to eat grasses, hay, wheat, kentucky blue…for cows corn feed is awful, makes awful beef and causes health problems in cattle.

        Hogs, well hogs can and will eat almost anything and whats great is no matter what they eat they taste great as a result.

        Corn as feed is equally as harmful and dangerous and corn for fuel.

        1. to not two…damn typos!

        2. Arguers like to argue.

          This: “Chickens acn handle corn.”

          and this: “Hogs, well hogs can and will eat almost anything and whats great is no matter what they eat they taste great as a result.”

          is followed by this: “Corn as feed is equally as harmful and dangerous and corn for fuel.”

      2. Wrong, Ron. Cattle are not meant to eat corn; those that eat it find their fatty tissues have higher deposits of polyunsaturated fats called omega-6’s. Not good for human consumption to get a higher ratio than 1:1, omega-3: omega: 6. Grass-fed and finished is the way to go with beef.

        Chicken can eat corn and seeds, of course.

  9. Tangentially related to gasoline threadjack. I was filling up yesterday, and some organization had bought ad space on top of the pumps opposing cap and trade. The text of the ad claimed cap & trade would cost you 77 cents more a gallon, so if you bu 1, 10, and 20 gallons, your fill up would cost more. Brilliant ad placement, if you ask me. Put the ad right there where it hits everybody buying gas with the potential consequences. Somebody was thinking with that ad campaign.

    1. T: Got a photo?

    2. T: Found it — it’s being run by Valero. You’re right about placement.

      1. It’s a Valero initiative to educate consumers.

        1. Well, it was a Valero station. I didn’t realize it was run by them, though.

  10. E85 has detonation resistant qualities

    Don’t confuse “octane rating” with energy content.

    1. sigh

      I am well aware that ethanol has a much lower energy density than gasoline, just as diesel fuel has a much richer energy density. I was not talking about octane rating, I was talking about increased manifold pressures that I have witnessed people running with ethanol that they could not get away with on pump gas. Same compression ration + increased manifold pressure + no detonation = increased horsepower = more fun.

    2. How in the hell does that quote lead you to believe he’s confusing the two?

      1. Arguers like to argue.

        Even when clueless.

        1. I appreciate the backup. It’s nice to know that someone else out there is familiar with engine tuning as an enthusiast pursuit.

          And although I stated this from the beginning, I want to reiterate that I am not in favor of government interference with energy markets to provide any sort of preferred fuel. I think we all agree the marketplace should be sorting out energy infrastructure, not government.

  11. Ethanol – one of the subjects that sorely tempts me to crank out a huge screed that most folks will never read. Shorter version – this is just fucking stupid, and anyone that thinks it’s a good idea is an excellent candidate for very, very bad things happening to them. In a karmic sense, of course. Maybe not in an Aregentinian ‘fly them out over the Atlantic in a helicopter for a high dive competition’ sense. Maybe.

    1. I’m willing to supply the karma, if necessary.

      :}

    2. What kid of karma do you think you get killing or Dying for Oil ?

      1. What kind of karma do you get by raising food prices so that people starve to death?

  12. Put the ad right there where it hits everybody buying gas with the potential consequences.

    That’s why cap and trade is the “preferred” solution; the people who want to jack up energy prices don’t want you to see that “$1.-/gal Carbon Tax” line item on the pump, they want you to think evil oil companies are screwing you.

  13. increased horsepower = more fun.

    Try shaving some weight off the damn thing.

    1. See, arguers like to argue.

      How about you let the gear heads do what the fuck they want to get their thrills.

      More power, lighter weight, extra squirrels on speed in the trunk.

      This response was clearly a, “oh shit I look a little foolish from my previous comment so I better snap back with a factual but totally useless response so I can at least make my ego feel a little better” sort of response.

      Fairly typical of the pedantic “argue on the internet” type of person.

      1. Fairly typical of the pedantic “argue on the internet” type of person.

        You’d know, wouldn’t you?

  14. On the other hand, environmentalist organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council are fiercely arguing for letting the subsidies expire [PDF].

    Yawn. As long as “fiercely arguing” means “a little bit of complaining, but we’ll make sure that we’ll support the Democrats even if they expand this, and never even say a good word for any Republican who opposes this,” they’ll get exactly as much leverage with the Democrats as gays and lesbians. Or pot smokers.

    Ending corn ethanol just isn’t actually that important to environmentalists, not compared with other things.

    1. Yeah, I don’t understand Ron’s point about “Let’s hope the environmentalists win this one”.

      Aren’t we sort of in this mess in the first place because of envirotards? I don’t believe that the corn lobby would’ve successfully lobbied for all these subsidies on their own. They used the leftists to hammer home the global warming/foreign fuel danger scare mongering to get this stuff through.

      Fool me once, etc.

      1. Tman: Even a blind hog….

  15. “pay in the future for the privilege of burning food in their gas tanks”

    Nobody is burning food in gas tanks. The only burning in operation of a motor vehicle should occur in the engine.

    But the situation is worse than suggested in this sentence.

    We’re not just burning food; we’re burning corn liquor, which is even more valuable than food.

  16. Can you say “Iowa caucuses” children?

  17. On the other hand, environmentalist organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council

    This is very, very hard for me, a libertarian, to agree with the NRDC.

    But I suppose an honest environmental group will eventually come to the conclusion, one item at a time, that so-called “alternative energy” schemes probably do more damage to the environment than they alleviate.

  18. And now the FACTS without the scare tactics and propaganda

    1. Ethanol was increased to 15% ONLY for 2007 Vehicles and above…Boats and Lawnmowers arre specifically banned form using E15

    2. Ethanol made from corn is limited to 15 Billion Gallons..ONLY 15 billion Gallons of ethanol cane be made from Corn..we are already at 13 Billion Gallons..corn is only allowed 2 billion more gallons ..Thats the Renewable Fuels Standards of the Energy and Security Act of 2007

    3. The Reason Corn is only allowed 15 Billion gallons is to ensure that next generation ethanol is produced.. Next Generation Ethanol is to produce 16 Billion Gallons a year by 2022. That has already begun . The most exciting process IMO is Trash to Ethanol .
    Fiberight.com started actual production of trash to ethanol this past summer in Blairstown Ia..

    Yep the garbage you set out by the curb.. pretty cool hey !

    Coskata.com is another trash to ethanol company they are licensing their process which can take any carbon based feedstock and turn it into ethanol..everything from waste wood , trash , industrial waste and even old tires ! General Motors is invetsed in them

    Algenol wont begun production for 2 more years but they are getting 6,000 gallons of ethanol per acre and expect to get that to 10,000 gallons of ethanol per acre by the time they start actual production..compare that to 400 gallons for corn .

    4. Subsides..the VEETC is being phased out and is expected to be completely phased out within 3 years. IN the Meantime we will be spending another few hundred billion per year subsidizing Oilwith ouir Troops in the Middle East..so dont even get me started on subsidies ..it’s F’ing disgraceful that we are sending our Kids to go die and kill on behalf of Oil..

    Let olone the hundreds of billions each year we are sending through OPEC to Build Palaces in the desert and god nows how much is trickling to terrorist States and Groups like Al Quada

    The entire purpose of transitioning part of of energy needs away from Foreign Countries (we import 68% of the energy we need !) was to enhance our National Security and lower our dependence of foreign Countries..that’s what the Energy and Security Act of 2007 was all about.

    Ethanol corn ethanol alone has already lowered our need for Foreign Oil by 8%..next generation Ethanol by 2022 will lower than another 10%.

    Combine that with electric cars and CNG and within 10 years we will lowered our dependence on Foreign Countries by 30% and possibly more..that’s HUGE and incredibly important that we continue on this path.

    Enviroment? Give it a break.. we are comparing OIl to ethanol..ethanol you can DRINK

    There is no energy source that will ever make the far far left envros happy..is ethanol perfect ..of course not but it’s a hell of a lot better than Oil..

    1. Stop -STOPSTOPSTOP- with the “our oil consumption supports terrorists!” argument.

      We get less than 20% TOTAL of our oil from middle eastern nations. We sure as hell don’t have a military presence in the middle east just for oil. If that was the only reason we could just buy the oil and be done with it.

      Use another talking point to justify spending $60 billion of taxpayer money to stuff the coffers of Archers Daniels Midland.

      “At least 43 percent of ADM’s annual profits are from products heavily subsidized or protected by the American government. Moreover, every $1 of profits earned by ADM’s corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10, and every $1 of profits earned by its ethanol operation costs taxpayers $30.”

      http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-241.html

      1. Stop stop stop SUPPORTING TERRORIST.. and it is 16% that we get directly from the Blood Middle East

        Archer Midlands or Iran , Iraq, Venuzuela and so on..

        1. We don’t SUPPORT TERRORISTS.

          it is 16% that we get directly from the Blood Middle East

          So genius, if we stopped buying that 16% tomorrow, do you think that no one else will? If the US suddenly blocked oil imports from the middle east do you think Saudi Arabia will go broke and stop funding madrassas?

          It’s a rhetorical question.

          Archer Midlands or Iran , Iraq, Venuzuela and so on

          How about “none of the above”?

          1. Doesnt matter if someone else buys that 16% it what matters is if WE are the ones buying that 16%…

            I have a Choice I can Buy from OPEC or I can Buy from an American Ethanol Producers (an domestic oil and domestic natural gas and domestic electricity and domestic ethanol).. screw OPEC , screw the Middle East..

            Why the hell would I want to send money to them that instead could be providing Jobs here as well as keeping the money here in the States.

            The Energy and Security ACT by definition means to low our overall dependence on Foreign Countries for the SAKE of our Energy and National Security.

            We import 68% of the energy we needs..that’s insane

            President Bush kisses the Saudi Kings and Obama bows to them ..enough already

            Ethanol is not perfect but it is FAR better than being subservient to the Middle East

            1. what matters is if WE are the ones buying that 16%…

              Actually, no it doesn’t. That’s my point. Islamic terrorists aren’t attacking us because we buy 16% of our oil from the middle east. This is dumbest fucking argument in the WORLD.

              I have a Choice I can Buy from OPEC or I can Buy from an American Ethanol Producers

              This is even more retarded. We get over 50% of our oil from Mexico and Canada and NEITHER of them are OPEC producers. You are a low quality troll.

              Why the hell would I want to send money to them that instead could be providing Jobs here as well as keeping the money here in the States.

              The “jobs” you brag about would not EXIST without direct tax payer funded subsidies. I don’t want my tax dollars being used to prop up an industry that can’t survive without subsidies.

              See: Jobs, Green.

              The Energy and Security ACT by definition means to low our overall dependence on Foreign Countries for the SAKE of our Energy and National Security.

              Whilst this definition is true, it is a total load of horseshit that ethanol lobbyists like you regurgitate unflinchingly.

              We import 68% of the energy we needs..that’s insane

              Wow, I thought it was more than that. That’s actually pretty good. Why is it insane to buy most of our oil from our two closest neighbors?

              WEAK SAUCE E85.

      2. And another thing..the VEETC is a Blenders Subsidy..it’s about 6 billion a year and it isnt going to Archmidlands or to ethanol it goes to the OIL COMPANIES ..to do the actual blending

        AND like I said before the VEETC is being phased out..

        1. Why do you think we’d be any more in favor of it even if it were a oil company subsidy? It’s still something that wouldn’t exist without the massive subsidies. Nor are we impressed by the name or nature of the subsidies being changed, those subsidies will still be there.

          We’d be able to save even more if we dropped the sugar tariff and imported more efficient sugar ethanol.

          So you, too, E85Man, are supporting terrorism by your tortured logic, by supporting the less efficient alternative.

    2. And now the FACTS without the scare tactics and propaganda

      . . .

      god nows how much is trickling to terrorist States and Groups like Al Quada

      Priceless.

  19. Barrels and bombs
    It is no coincidence that so much of the cash filling terrorists’ coffers come from the oil monarchies in the Persian Gulf. It is also no coincidence that those countries holding the world’s largest oil reserves and those generating most of their income from oil exports, are also those with the strongest support for radical Islam. In fact, oil and terrorism are entangled. If not for the West’s oil money, most Gulf states would not have had the wealth that allowed them to invest so much in arms procurement and sponsor terrorists organizations.

    Consider Saudi Arabia. Oil revenues make up around 90-95% of total Saudi export earnings, 70%-80% of state revenues, and around 40% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). In 2002 alone, Saudi Arabia earned nearly $55 billion in crude oil export revenues. Most wealthy Saudis who sponsor charities and educational foundations that preach religious intolerance and hate toward the Western values have made their money from the petroleum industry or its subsidiaries. Osama bin Laden’s wealth comes from the family’s construction company that made its fortune from government contracts financed by oil money. It is also oil money that enables Saudi Arabia to invest approximately 40% of its income on weapons procurement. In July 2005 undersecretary of the Treasury Stuart Levey testifying in the Senate noted “Wealthy Saudi financiers and charities have funded terrorist organizations and causes that support terrorism and the ideology that fuels the terrorists’ agenda. Even today, we believe that Saudi donors may still be a significant source of terrorist financing, including for the insurgency in Iraq.”

    If Saudi Arabia is the financial engine of radical Sunni Islam, its neighbor Iran is the powerhouse behind the proliferation of radical Shiite Islam. Iran, OPEC’s second largest oil producer, is holder of 10 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves and has the world’s second largest natural gas reserve. With oil and gas revenues constituting over 80 percent of its total export earning and 50 percent of its gross domestic product, Iran is heavily dependent on petrodollars. It is a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism and supporter of some of the world’s most radical Islamic movements such as the Lebanese Hizballah. Iran’s mullahs are fully aware of the power of their oil. Its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned in 2002: “If the West did not receive oil, their factories would grind to a halt. This will shake the world!” As the world’s demand for oil increases, Iran grows richer –Iran’s oil revenues have jumped 25 percent in 2005?and more than able to snub the U.S. and its allies in their efforts to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

    The line between the barrel and the bomb is clear. It is oil wealth that enables dictatorial regimes to sustain themselves, resisting openness, progress and power sharing. Some semi-feudal royal families in the Gulf buy their legitimacy from the Muslim religious establishment. This establishment uses oil money to globally propagate hostility to the West, modernity, non-Muslims, and women.
    This trend is likely to continue. Both the International Energy Agency and the Energy Information Agency of the U.S. Department of Energy currently project a steady increase in world demand for oil through at least 2020. This means further enrichment of the oil-producing countries and continued access of terrorist groups to a viable financial network which allow then remain a lethal threat to the U.S. and its allies.
    http://www.iags.org/fuelingterror.html

    1. So when we turn every ounce of biomass we grow in this country to meet maybe half of our gasoline needs, what the fuck are we going to eat and wear? Ethanol doesn’t solve shit. Using 100% of our farmland to produce 50% of our gasoline is beyond retarded.

      1. READ and try to comprehend..

        Corn ethanol is only allowed 15 billion gallons by LAW (The Renewable Fuel Standards of the Energy and Security Act of 2005, 2007 and 2009)

        We already produce 13 Billion Gallons..

        The next 16 Billion a year must come from next generation feedstock , field waste , switchgrasses , forestry waste , algae, TRASH Industrial Waste Garbage.

        Trash to Ethanol has ALREADY begun. Fiberight has already started production in Blairstown Ia using waste wood and trash ..

        “Fiberight Completes First Stage in Converting Corn Ethanol Plant to Cellulosic

        Fiberight LLC announced Thursday that it had completed the first stage of converting a Blairstown, Iowa, corn-ethanol plant into a cellulosic ethanol plant, Ethanol Producer Magazine said.

        The company said its plant is the nation’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant. It uses industrial and municipal solid waste as a feedstock, converting the waste to ethanol using enzymatic conversion technology.

        Fiberight retained Source Capital Group Inc. of Westport, Conn., to complete a financing led by Venture Cross Partners of Great Falls, Va., to provide expansion capital for the plant. With a total $24 million investment the plant is expected to be scaled to its final commercial production capacity of 6 million gallons in 2011.

        The company wet-pulping technology recently was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

        The Blairstown plant will initially use paper pulp wastes from a plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.” Fiberight Completes First Stage in Converting Corn Ethanol Plant to Cellulosic

        Fiberight LLC announced Thursday that it had completed the first stage of converting a Blairstown, Iowa, corn-ethanol plant into a cellulosic ethanol plant, Ethanol Producer Magazine said.

        The company said its plant is the nation’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant. It uses industrial and municipal solid waste as a feedstock, converting the waste to ethanol using enzymatic conversion technology.

        Fiberight retained Source Capital Group Inc. of Westport, Conn., to complete a financing led by Venture Cross Partners of Great Falls, Va., to provide expansion capital for the plant. With a total $24 million investment the plant is expected to be scaled to its final commercial production capacity of 6 million gallons in 2011.

        The company wet-pulping technology recently was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

        The Blairstown plant will initially use paper pulp wastes from a plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

        They have plans for over 100 of these Trash to Ethanol Plants outside of Cities with a population of 100,000-250,000

        These is where our ethanol will becoming from.. corn by law can only produce 15 billion gallons

        1. corn by law can only produce 15 billion gallons

          Nice job demonstrating that you don’t know the difference between an upper and a lower bound, moron.

    2. It is no coincidence that so much of the cash filling terrorists’ coffers come from the pistachio monarchies in the Persian Gulf.

      Clearly we must massively subsidize US pistachio production, or the terrorists win.

  20. Ron

    Quit calling it “bioethanol”.

    Where, pray tell, can one get non-bio-ethanol?

    I know where diesel comes from. Refined from oil. Hence, the moniker “biodiesiel” makes sense since that stuff is manufactured from various plant based oils and the term is used to distinguish this differing source (fossil vs. plant based).

    Where is the corresponding non “bio” ethanol derived from?

    1. “Where, pray tell, can one get non-bio-ethanol?”

      coal

      1. Really? I’m aware of coal to oil processes. Coal to gas processes.

        I just googled coal to ethanol processes. Looks like its all hypothetical at this point, or at best lab scale. Or coal as the heat source for distilling the ethanol made from corn or other biological sources.

        Where, I repeat, can one get non-bio-ethanol (and I’ll add) on an industrial scale?

        1. If coal -> ethanol was subsidized like the corn stuff, you’d have no problem finding it.

      2. Please. Exxon or DuPont would already be on the teat if it were worth it for them to do so.

  21. Since every American appeas to be trying to hold their engines together on etanol, why not split the subsidy pot of gold with all the graduating college senior chemists who cannot find a job and set them all to work doing research on the many possibilities. The complaints from boaters and motorcycle people that ethanol tears up their motors should not be ignored. A specific solution for each vehicle should be found without taking food of the table. They say it costs $20,000 for a gas tank. If you had a specific gas for boats, you would not need a boat tank at every station but one per town funded by the boating industry and likewise the motorcycle people. Get the little high I.Q. geniuses going on the deal with the ethanol peoples subsidies having done us not much good. jo lewis

  22. Brett. Baloney. They’ve got their deals and if it looked good to them to help the boaters or cyclists, their tax breaks probably would not make it just right. You may not have noticed that they are inflamed with the big guy.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.