Ethanol Industry Pokes Fun at Big Oil in 100th Birthday Celebration for Subsidies
March 13, 2013 12:04 PM
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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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3/15/2013 10:45:36 AM
You're wrong. Ethanol isn't a "terrific" fuel - it's a terrible fuel, at least from the standpoint of what you have to go through to get it. There is, at best, very little net energy gain...and frequently either no energy gain or even an energy loss in the production of ethanol. From whatever it is you're using to create it.
Planting a non-food crop instead doesn't help either, because that's land that could have produced food. Aside from the lack of energy gain.
Higher corn prices are *not* a good thing...at least, not for anyone except the corn farmers. The cost of all kinds of foods goes up with the cost of corn, which decreases the real buying power of everyone...and eventually trickles down to making life even harder for people who already can't afford to buy enough food.
Corn subsidies should go away. The market will correct itself to sell the commodity at a price that is bearable. But regardless, it should never be used to make fuel - arable soil should never be used to grow fuel, under any circumstances.
I'm all for biofuels, but you're going to have to pursue methods that produce them without impacting the food system. Because that's retarded, no matter how much you want to claim it isn't.
3/15/2013 12:40:07 PM
I maintain that regardless of how the food prices in the market fluctuate, until ALL farm subsidies are eliminated, the prices are NOT high enough.
I also believe that the USA has sufficient crop-land to produce ethanol-yield crops without negatively impacting our food supply. Until we have proof-positive that we've reached critical mass on production and are now negatively impacting food yields, I submit that we are well withing rational limits to pursue increased ethanol crops.
Granted, reclaimed mass biofuel & ethanol will be the future, in my opinion. What I dislike is someone arbitrarily handcuffing our capabilities because of some phantom consequence.
I see the opposition to growing ethanol crops (in a time of abundant production capability for food crops) as misguided as legislation prohibiting the drilling of oil within our own territory.
There's a lot more to a fuel than just its raw BTU's. Crop ethanol is primarily converted solar energy--the ultimate source for all harnessed energy here on earth. When you take into account the renewability of flora vs. fossil fuels, "net energy cost" starts to mean very little.
Furthermore, there is a myriad of data from automotive tuners proving that ethanol is a far superior fuel in our existing internal combustion engines--both due to octane & burn characteristics. e85 is literally cheap race gas. And just like race-gas, you need to modify your compression/boost to take advantage of that fuel, or it's simply wasting energy (like putting 93 octane in a vehicle designed for 87--it does NOTHING).
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