By Alan Caruba
On Friday, July 23, the Chicago Tribune published an editorial titled “Enough Ethanol” and on Saturday, July 24, The Washington Post editorial said, “It’s time to end the excessive subsidies for corn ethanol.” On Monday, July 26, The Wall Street Journal joined the chorus.
“The best refutation of the theory of the survival of the fittest is probably the corn ethanol lobby, whose annual $6 billion in federal subsidies have managed to outlive both its record of failure and all evidence and argument,” said The Wall Street Journal.
[...] Jimmy Carter’s belief that ethanol could replace or reduce dependence on foreign oil imports and reduce greenhouse gas emissions was totally bogus. Nothing about converting corn to fuel makes any sense at all. In July 2007, I laid out the facts, quoting E. Ralph Hostetter, the publisher of American Farm Publications.
“Today, 60 percent of the American corn crop is fed to U.S. livestock,” noted Hostetter. “Therefore, as the price of corn is forced up by the demands of ethanol production and many natural causes such as weather, so is the price of meat, poultry, eggs, milk and more than 3,500 products American use every day.”
I noted that among the products affected by the rise in the cost of corn are cake mixes, pizza, beer, whisky, candies, cookies, corn flakes, cosmetics, instant coffee, carbonated beverages, fertilizers, vitamins, tires, toothpaste, paper products, pharmaceuticals such as aspirin and more than 85 different types of antibiotics.
The Washington Post looked at the cost to the consumer after “decades of subsidies the government has showered on the corn ethanol industry.” The debate, the newspaper said, “should be about why corn ethanol deserves any federal protection at all.”
Little known or understood is the fact that the federal government gives “companies that combine corn ethanol with gasoline a 45-cent tax subsidy for every gallon of corn ethanol added to gasoline.” The result is that the cost of replacing a gallon of gasoline with one of corn ethanol is $1.78. “The tax incentives alone cost the Treasury $6 billion in 2009.”
What does the consumer get? For every gallon of a gasoline-ethanol mix, the price includes less mileage. Ethanol is a poor source of power. FlexFuel vehicles run on E85 or 85% ethanol and, according to the Department of Energy, they get about 25% less mileage than a car fueled by undiluted gasoline.
For those still worried about greenhouse gas emissions, ethanol emits carbon dioxide and, since natural gas or coal is used to produce ethanol, it ends up putting more CO2 into the atmosphere than the production and use of gasoline.
The Congressional Budget Office concluded that supporting ethanol through subsidies means that taxpayers are shelling out about $750 for every metric ton (2,205 pounds) of carbon that, in theory, is kept out of the atmosphere.
[...] Who keeps insisting on raising the mandates for the use of these “green” fuels? The Environmental Protection Agency.
/full article here.
Corn (wheat) to ethanol is a killer. By forcing food prices (Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis) people starved, there were riots over the price hikes. It affected prices across the board by increasing transport costs. Less importantly, inflation grew while standard of living fell throughout the EU and the Americas, Africa and other charity dependent nations. Mass manslaughter.
CO2Science 2008 on Sir J Houghton [AGW crank that partnered Strong and the World Met Org in forming the IPCC] promoting ethanol as a moral responsibility to chrispies.
"In his misguided attempt to enlist Christianity to help promote the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's anti-CO2 campaign, which is described in the September 2007 issue of Physics Today, England's Sir John Houghton claims we need "very large growth in renewable energy sources," among which he lists biomass in second place after solar. Already, however, it has been made abundantly clear that this "moral imperative" of his is not only not helpful, it is hurtful, as food prices around the world have soared in response to crops such as corn and sugar cane being sold for fuel -- as in ethanol -- instead of food." /more
The man is near the end of his life unfortunately. He deserves to face a judge and were there any justice he would face considerable jail time where he could appreciate the harm to humanity his misguided and ill researched or deliberately deceptive advocacy has caused. The Royal Society should be alongside him in the dock together with the Grantham institute carbon credit supporters club. I hope there is a special place in hell for the career politicians that let Brown and his gang-greensters get away with almost destroying the UK. Cameron looks to be continuing the agenda Blair instituted. For the agenda, Clegg is just a useful dolt, Huhne is less, a catch-all scapegoat. Sacrificial goat.