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Ethanol is making a point that Big Oil is receiving subsidies and ethanol isn't

Ethanol is holding one huge, sarcastic birthday party for Big Oil in celebration of its oldest subsidy enacted 100 years ago.

The 100th birthday for oil's oldest subsidy -- which began in 1913 -- will be prepared by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), which promotes Iowa ethanol and biodiesel growth, and the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), which encourages the production and use of ethanol.

“And it dawned on us a few months ago that this is in fact the 100th birthday for oil subsidies and this calls for a party, and I think people can assume our tongues are firmly planted in our cheeks when we say we’re going to celebrate that fact,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of IRFA.

Why is the ethanol industry doing this? According to Shaw, the ethanol blenders tax credit expired in 2011, and ethanol has been forced to continue on without any help. However, Big Oil, which is already the most profitable industry in the world, still receives subsidies. The oldest, continuous subsidy was enacted in 1913, which is the topic of the birthday party.

“What we’re saying is, they’re there," said Shaw. "And we’re sick and tired of members of Congress who don’t know any better or don’t want to know any better, saying, oh, why do you need the RFS?  Why do you this, why do you need that? Can’t you just compete on a level playing field? When the fact of the matter is, our competition has had 100 years of subsidization. They’ve had nearly 40 years of a petroleum mandate written into federal law that says unless you drive a flex-fuel vehicle, you will purchase gasoline with a minimum amount of petroleum (85% percent of petroleum). The playing field is overwhelmingly tilted to the oil industry and that has got to be a part of all discussions around the RFS."

The RFS is the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is a U.S. federal program that requires transportation fuel to have a certain amount of renewable fuels when sold in the U.S.

The birthday party, called "Century of Subsidies," will be held on Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington DC.

There will be cake.


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RE: Sour grapes...
By ppardee on 3/13/2013 4:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between funding research and padding the bottom line of for-profit companies at the expense of the tax payer in order to push your agenda and get more votes from special interest groups.

The issue comes when Obama decides that he wants 'green' energy, so he gives subsidies to solar panel companies. This pushes the cost of business down, allowing the company to sell its products to the public at a reduced price, even below cost. The company wouldn't have been profitable without the tax payers funding it on the back end because its products are too expensive to produce and the market wont bear the additional cost.

Another company comes up with a better energy solution but it can't get a foothold in the market because of the artificially low price of solar panels. Who wins? The politicians who get the solar panel lobby votes and the solar panel companies. Everyone else loses, including the public.

The flip side is that the solar panel industry sees that solar panels won't be widely accepted until they can get the costs down. The government funds research that allows for more efficient and cheaper solar panels that all can use. The solar panel industry adopts this new technology and cheaper solar panels hit the market 5 years later with no additional tax payer funding. Everyone wins.

Subsidies are criminal interference in the market and should be treated as such.

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