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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 3DoubleD on 3/15/2013 12:07:12 AM , Rating: 2
never going to see eye to eye

At this point, I agree, haha.

These folks are committing to moving across the country and becoming political activists because they believe that strongly:

Good for them, that's what I like to see.

I don't attribute the successes you've listed to democracies, but rather to free enterprise.

You might be right here. It's hard to decouple them fully. I'd have to do a lot of reading before I could refute that, so I'll give you that one with one caveat. Human rights and freedom have never flourished so greatly than under the current incarnation of democracy. Freedom might be the very reason you dislike today's democracy, but it is also its greatest gift. Maybe it has it's place in history... only time will tell.

And yet some people think politicians of all people, should be able to "control" it. Or influence it in the "right" way.

I think there are market regulations that absolutely prevent the market from doing harm to itself. Price fixing should not be allowed. Insider trading should not be allowed. Companies should not be allowed to merge to form a monopoly. These seem like common sense, but if an economist could explain to me otherwise, I might change my mind.

Your attempt to discredit my opinions by casting them off as non-factual beliefs is pretty weak.

I am not belittling just your political beliefs. I clearly stated that everyone has political beliefs. Everyone votes based on a belief. You do, I do, everyone. Neither of us knows how one action will affect the extremely intricate world around us. We vote by our principles, our morals, what we deem as logical. But I fully acknowledge that I cannot understand the world with absolute clarity and that when I go to vote, it is a belief - albeit one that is hard tested through debate and reasoning. You have chosen to defend the untested path with unknown risks and rewards and I am defending the tried and tested old path. That is all I am saying, I am not discrediting you at all.

What do we risk by being free, that we do not risk by being enslaved?

Again, you are going a bit overboard on that one throwing the slave word around...

What are the risks in your experiment? The risk is that we allow more grievous violations of human rights. Is the "oppression" you feel so bad, so suffocating that, as a result of your new freedoms, you would be willing to let someone die? Many people die? Do you feel no responsibility, yet think that other people should feel for your sense of oppression?

THAT is the risk. It's a moral risk. Your system of opt-in national programs might be BETTER and you save lives, but it is completely unknown! You have no proof that your country could still defend itself from invaders or defend its interest on a army funded by opt-in donations. Would innocent lives be lost due to lack of funding of your non-profit charities because people were too greedy or short-sighted? If a small country was successfully modeled under your ideal form of government and society, and it proved to be successful, then I'd be the first to sign up, I promise you.

Give it a few more years. When this house of cards collapses and the gov't either fails

You might be right. If people so adamantly refuse to work together to achieve anything, it will all come crumbling down. There are so many big problems, and we have not even begun to scratch the surface.

Anyway, it's been fun. I'll hang up my hat too. We can agree to disagree. You've given me some things to think about, and I hope, even if you've agreed with nothing I've said, have taken things away as well. Talking in a forum like this isn't exactly perfect, I think both of us would have done better in person, maybe in the pub over a couple beers. Oh well. Cheers!

RE: :p
By ebakke on 3/15/2013 12:46:56 AM , Rating: 2
I concede overreaction to your use of the word beliefs. I guess it hit a nerve. At the time, it seemed like you were essentially equating my arguments to religious beliefs. To a blind "faith" absent logic, or reasoning.

But anyway, if you're ever in MN, I'll absolutely have a few beers with you. Until then, see you in the next thread. :)

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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