Ethanol

EPA Backs Big Ethanol Against Farmers

In light of the big drought in the Midwest this summer, livestock farmers are concerned about the price of corn.

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In light of the big drought in the Midwest this summer, livestock farmers are concerned about the price of corn. Consequently, a lot of farm organizations petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend the Renewable Fuels Standard which requires that 13.8 billion gallons of ethanol (equivalent to 4.5 billion bushels of corn) to be blended into gasoline in 2013. Biofuels Digest reports the following from a spokesman from the American Ethanol Coalitions:

"Despite millions of dollars spent by Big Oil and Big Food to shamelessly attack American-made ethanol, it comes as no surprise EPA denied the requests to waive the RFS because the facts are on our side," said Brian Jennings, ACE Executive Vice President. "EPA considered the flexibility built-into the RFS, precedent established in 2008, and data which proved waiving the RFS wouldn't remedy the harm of the drought in making the right decision."

Big Ethanol evidently wins!

The price of corn is up 17 percent since April. A coalition of farming groups emailed a press release decrying the EPA's decision:

USDA's Nov. 9 crop report puts this year's corn harvest at just 10.7 billion bushels, down 13 percent from last year and down 28 percent from USDA's May projection.  The ethanol industry will use more than 40 percent of the corn supply next year. 

Further, the carry-over stocks for 2012-13 are now forecast at 647 million bushels, less than 5 percent of expected corn usage and the lowest amount ever.  This is a 35 percent decrease from last year's carry-over amount.  This means there likely would be no corn reserves for next year should the country experience another poor crop. 

The coalition asked:

How many more jobs and family farms have to be lost before we change this misguided policy and create a level playing field on the free market for the end users of corn?"

Great question. An even better one is: When will government level the playing field on the free market for the end users of energy?

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  1. Give them an ear full.

    1. Aw, shucks, that’s a good one.

        1. Yeah, there’s probably a kernel of truth to that.

          1. I’m surprised you cobbled a response.

            1. You are all going to hell.

            2. I’m surprised anyone can navigate the maize of regulations.

              1. Yuck, a homopone?

              2. I slip through them as smooth as silk.

              3. The industry will be a husk before they eliminate regs.

    2. These ethanol mandates are, ear-responsible.

  2. alt-text but no byline?

    1. The UNKNOWN AUTHOR strikes again!

  3. Of course Big Ethanol wins. This is Obama Time. There is nothing but cronyism to be found. For the next four years, there will be such epic levels of cronyism that we’ll become inured to it.

  4. What a shocker, that the Obama EPA would decline to back off on a green energy boondoggle just because it is destroying people’s businesses and leading to starvation and unrest worldwide.

    1. You think a Romney EPA would have done anything different? I don’t.

      Ending the ethanol mandate means the federal government admitting to making a mistake. That. Will. Not. Happen. Ever.

      Ethanol mandates are here to stay.

      1. You think a Romney EPA would have done anything different?<?i

        Where does this question even come from? There never has been, and never will be, such an organization.

        There is, however, an Obama EPA, so I calls it like I sees it.

        1. The EPA is the fucking EPA, regardless of who the president is. And, regardless of who the president is, the EPA will uphold ethanol mandates. Calling it the Obama EPA is not only pointless, but there is the implicit (and false) implication that if it was someone else’s EPA that it would have done something different.

          1. A McCain EPA might actually have done something different.

            McCain actually voted against both energy bills, and has been a big opponent of the ethanol mandate.

            It was ridiculous to think that the Obama EPA would be different, since Obama supported the Bush energy bill and the mandates.

            Obama is more like Bush than McCain would have been.

            1. But yeah, I don’t see any reason to think that Romney would have been better.

          2. Calling it the Obama EPA is not only pointless,

            Its accurate, which is a plus in my book. Plus, he likes to brag about what it does, so if he wants the credit, he gets the blame.

            there is the implicit (and false) implication that if it was someone else’s EPA that it would have done something different.

            What, you don’t think Ron Paul’s EPA would have been different?

            Seriously, why the problem with hanging every stupid fucking thing his adminstration does on Obama’s neck?

            1. Seriously, why the problem with hanging every stupid fucking thing his adminstration does on Obama’s neck?

              Because it’s not very accurate? It really WOULDN’T have been any different under Romney. Paul, SURE, but we know both how likely that was.

              1. Something, something, knowing the unknowable, something something.

    2. All while doing absolutely nothing to help any environmental issues. That’s what gets me the most about this. There is no good reason for anyone except ethanol producers to like this policy.

      1. Everything that’s sold as good for the environment is actually bad for the environment. See CFLs, the Prius’ battery, organic fair-trade food which requires more land to be cleared, etc. My theory is most people who care about environmental issues don’t bother examining them in any depth. Consumers like to grab the package with a green leaf because it makes them feel better.

        1. It’s all signalling behavior. “People like me care about x.”

          I have a very enviro-liberal friend, I mean Sierra Club, vegetarian, whale-hugger, the whole nine yards. It drives her insane when I start talking about mercury pollution from unrecycled CFLs and the energy and environmental cost of electric vehicle battery production. She’s honest enough to admit that I have a point, but she can’t quite get over the dissonance caused by the idea that producing power from hydrocarbons may be less environmentally harmful than her beloved signalling causes. We usually change the subject as soon as she remembers that I’m not going to nod along with her talking points.

  5. If I can’t put food in my car then how am I supposed to get it home from the grocery store? Rickshaw? Answer me that, Mister Farmer!

    1. Light rail, of course.

  6. Your not frackin’ your way out this mister!

    1. If there’s methane on Mars, I wonder if that means I get to go frac Mars?

  7. When will government level the playing field on the free market for the end users of energyanything

    FTFY

  8. You all heard about the Hostess bankruptcy right?

    We’re already saving some corn for our cars!

  9. How many more jobs and family farms have to be lost blah, blah blah.

    Episode 1,382 of Special Pleaders at the Trough. I bet those farmers are not out there agitating for the auction of water rights.

    1. Not to mention, I bet they use roads too.

      GO BACK TO SOMALIA, FARMERS!

    2. Most people’s default position on subsidies is:

      “I hate subsidies, unless they directly benefit me”

    3. You know, there wouldn’t be a corn shortage if the government stopped practically mandating putting expensive corn syrup into every damn thing made in the USA instead of using sugar like non-retarded people do.

  10. Someone needs to inform the environmentalists that almost all corn ethanol is make from GMO corn.

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