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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: :p
By ebakke on 3/14/2013 10:45:39 AM , Rating: 1
So your position can be summed up as 'I'm selfish like a 3-year old.'

My position can be summed up as, "I'm just as selfish as every other human on the planet. And I don't claim anything different."

You seem to be missing the crucial point: I don't care if the government programs could/would help me. I don't want the 'benefits', I don't want to pay for them, and I don't get a choice. If I could stop funding them today, and sign a document that says "you're on your own should X happen" I'd be positively thrilled. If I did end up becoming sick or poor, and then had to "fend for myself" - why would you care? That's my problem to solve, is it not? How is my solution worse in your eyes?

The problem with assuming that markets would necessarily invent the same things is that for companies to invest in something, it needs to have some reasonable expectation of monetary return. There are other criteria than monetary return on which to judge the value of something.
I think you just unintentionally listed an argument in support of non-profits, charities, and other groups that add value (in a free market) without seeking a monetary return.

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