America’s ethanol producers were some of the few Americans optimistic or cynical enough to find a bright side to the BP Gulf spill. Ethanol’s lobbyists-in-chief, GrowthEnergy, decided it would be real cute to run ads highlighting all the bad things ethanol hadn’t done. One of which is not “Ethanol has never harmed the Gulf of Mexico,” by the way. As the ad parody above points out though, even if the ethanol was creating a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico for years before the BP spill, there are quite a few other things ethanol hasn’t done. Like this, just in from the AP [via Google]: convince the EPA to buy into its shameful, manipulative PR line and rush a decision on increasing blending limits.
Not that it’s much of a victory. After all, not exploiting a tragic disaster to shove down wasteful subsidies is hardly something to brag about. And it’s looking like E15 (“normal” gas with 15 percent ethanol, instead of the federal cap of 10 percent) will be approved this fall, as there’s no other way for blenders to meet their subsidized 12b gallon 2010 blending mandate. Secretary of Agriculture Tim Vilsack tells the AP that tests look “good” and that discussing a timeline is a positive sign for ethanol.
With this green light, USDA is surging ahead on our work to provide support to feedstock producers, biofuel refiners and infrastructure installers, such as blender pumps, to ensure that all the pieces of the ethanol supply chain are ready to supply the market demand,
But the ethanol industry wasn’t having it. GrowthEnergy made a statement harping on the BP spill, the Renewable Fuel Association called for an interim approval of E12, and ArchersDanielMidland said it was “disappointed.” [via domesticfuel.com]. And all because the EPA wants to test vehicles (even then, only 2007 models and later) to prove they won’t be harmed by the 15 percent blends that the industry is so impatient for. But this is the second time the pro-ethanol forces have seen an E15 ruling delayed, and their billion dollar boondoggle needs to be fed to keep going. After all, when the ethanol industry talks about “demand,” they’re not referring to consumers, who have shown a marked distaste for the corn juice. Demand for ethanol begins and ends in Washington D.C.