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39% of all corn produced in the U.S. goes to ethanol production   (Source:
House to vote next

Lawmakers in Washington are working hard to write and pass laws that would have fuel efficiency standards in the U.S. changing drastically in coming years. While some in Washington support the new standards for vehicle efficiency, others oppose the standards. Along with mandating better fuel economy across a carmakers fleet, Washington is also seeing green and renewable fuel alternatives for vehicles.

In the U.S., ethanol has been added into the fuel we run in vehicles for years. Ethanol is as high as 10% in fuels today and some that are against ethanol, which is derived from corn, claim that the biofuel is increasing the price of some food items in America. A report published by the GAO claims that the use of ethanol has driven the cost of some food items up as much as 20%.

With all of Washington in cost cutting mode in an effort to shore up the federal budget lawmakers are looking at everywhere money can be saved. One place that some in the Senate want to save money is by repealing the subsidy on ethanol. The Senate voted Thursday 73-27 to end a $0.45 per gallon tax credit on ethanol-blended gasoline starting on July 1. According to those that support the repeal, the subsidy cost taxpayers $5.6 billion last year.

Growth Energy, and ethanol association, CEO Tom Buis said, "The Senate missed an enormous opportunity to take real action on deficit reduction and energy policy when it failed to put oil subsidies and giveaways to the same test as ethanol."

On the other side of the coin, Kate McMahon coordinator of biofuels campaigns for Friends of the Earth said, "Senators scored a win for the public and for the environment by voting to end this $6 billion giveaway." She continued saying, "[the Senate delivered a message] that the ethanol industry's days of living high off the taxpayers' hog have come to an end."

The effort to end the ethanol subsidy now goes to the House for voting. White House spokesman Jay Carney says that the Obama administration supports a reduction in the ethanol subsidy, but does not support a full repeal. Some claim that 39% of the corn produced in the U.S. is currently going into fuel tanks. With the costs to reach the proposed 62mpg regulations for fuel economy reaching nearly $10,000, some automakers are calling for the removal of ethanol from gasoline. Ethanol is renewable and greener than petroleum fuel, but reduces fuel economy.

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What's the point?
By TEAMSWITCHER on 6/17/2011 3:43:51 PM , Rating: 0
How does this solve the energy problem? More dependency on oil doesn't exactly sound like a wise policy. The amount of oil this planet has is dwindling, and we'll run out in only a few decades. Ethanol may not be the solution, but that 5 billion dollars saved should subsidize some kind of oil replacement technology. Quite frankly, we are running out of time.

RE: What's the point?
By Fraggeren on 6/17/11, Rating: 0
RE: What's the point?
By Dorkyman on 6/17/2011 4:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
Earth to TeamSwitcher: You might want to read more.

In the past few years there have been startling discoveries of new oil and natural gas deposits. Literally many hundreds of years worth.

One can argue that fossil fuels are "bad" for the planet (I disagree), but there is no longer any argument about them being in short supply.

RE: What's the point?
By Mathos on 6/17/2011 9:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, this one here is right. It's the whole oil sand thing. Irony being that US refineries are the only ones advanced enough to refine the oil from this. Everyone else is stuck with using sweet crude blends which is why the price per barrel and demand has always gone up or been high for those types of oil.

Now on to the ethanol repeal.....Thank friggen higher being if it goes through. Not only does the ethanol in our gas cause more wear and tear on internal engine parts. It burns hotter, packs less energy per unit, causes water condensation inside the engine, fouls the fuel with water if it sits unused for more than a month in a tank (due to water condensation). It drives the cost of food up ,and I mean all foods that use corn products, high fructose corn syrup, corn meal, corn starch, flour, etc. It drives the cost of meat products up, due to increased cost of animal feed.

Don't get me started on what the ethanol in the gas does to small engines, such as most 2 cycle motors, and lawnmower motors.

RE: What's the point?
By tng on 6/18/2011 9:37:20 AM , Rating: 1
Earth to TeamSwitcher: You might want to read more.

In the past few years there have been startling discoveries of new oil and natural gas deposits. Literally many hundreds of years worth.
I had also read somewhere in a trade publication of some geological group that there were some old oil fields that were "refilling", pumped dry in the 30's and now half full again (wish I could find the link). This makes the case that "fossil fuels" are not really from fossils and probably never have been.

RE: What's the point?
By Fraggeren on 6/18/2011 1:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
It's YOU who needs to read more.

IEA says the annual rate of decline is 6.7% and new discoveries is not making of for what is consumed. Please remember in 30 years we are 40% more people walking the earth. And already now they fail to raise output making the oil price go higher. NO JOKE.

Ohh.. and why do you think Saudi Arabia want solar energy output to match crude exports? I'll let you chew on that.

Get out of your comfort zone and wake up! You smell like sloppy politicians.

RE: What's the point?
By Targon on 6/17/2011 8:00:34 PM , Rating: 1
Yep, nuclear does the job, but due to people being ignorant about what causes the big nuclear disasters, they want to ban everything. It should be entertaining to see half of Europe slow to a crawl as country after country shuts down their nuclear power plants due to irrational fears.

RE: What's the point?
By RivuxGamma on 6/18/2011 11:24:02 AM , Rating: 3
I mostly agree. Nuclear, when done properly, is the best way to produce tons (not literally) of electricity. The problem is always people. By that, I mean that people make decisions that make it unsafe like improper waste containment that's cheaper by the short term. Also, people force others to make those decisions like "green" lobbyists howling about nuclear waste storage in Yucca Mountain, a place chosen specifically for its minimal environmental impact. If we had a better way to launch stuff into space, then I'd say we should just hurl it all at the sun or maybe Venus. Because f*ck 'em, that's why.

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