By on August 21, 2016

Ethanol Plant In South Dakota.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general, the Obama Administration has failed to live up to its legal obligation to study the environmental impact of blending ethanol with gasoline.

Those findings, the result of an inspector general audit, confirm what the Associated Press reported back in late 2013, prompting the audit.

In 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which was and signed into law by Pres. George W. Bush. Among other things, the 2007 legislation increased the Renewable Fuel Standard that mandated biofuel production, primarily ethanol, and the blending of at least some of that ethanol into the gasoline supply.

The law also stipulates that the U.S. EPA must conduct studies every three years and report to Congress on the air and water quality benefit, or lack thereof, by adding corn-based ethanol to gasoline. The purpose of that part of the law is to make sure solutions to the country’s energy needs don’t adversely affect the environment.

The 2013 AP investigation characterized the use of ethanol as having a far more negative impact on the environment than the EPA and Dept. of Energy predicted. The AP reported that with corn effectively subsidized, farmers put millions of acres of land formerly devoted to conservation into corn production, destroying animal habitats and polluting water supplies.

For its part, the EPA agreed with the IG that the agency failed to follow the law and produce the studies. The EPA said it will produce a report on the impacts of biofuels by the end of 2017 — seven years late.

Though it’s now complying with that part of the law, apparently the agency feels the triennial requirements in the law are still optional. The EPA said that it will investigate whether the ethanol mandate is making other environmental issues worse, but it will do so by September 2024. The reason that study will take another eight years, the agency claims, is that it will be time-consuming and resource-intensive.

The excuse the EPA gave the inspector general for its breaking of the law: it indeed produced one report for Congress on the effects of ethanol on the environment in December 2011, but ran out of money for future reports.

That study cost $1.7 million. The EPA has an annual budget of $8.2 billion.

The EPA shifted additional blame to Congress, saying that it never received any feedback from legislators on that first report. Essentially ignoring the 2007 law that mandates the studies every three years, the agency further asserted that three years was too short of an interval for any significant scientific advances to take place in the meantime.

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89 Comments on “Inspector General Confirms EPA Broke Law, Failed to Study Environmental Impact of Ethanol...”


  • avatar

    Laws? Who needs laws? Laws are only designed to control all the little people.

    Ya gotta love the excuse that “they ran out of money” and couldn’t produce the environmental studys.

    This, from a government that can magically produce $400 million from thin air. In cash.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “This, from a government that can magically produce $400 million from thin air. In cash.”

      “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Contra_affair”

      • 0 avatar

        What exactly does Iran Contra have to do with what I said?

        Answer: Nothing.

        I just pointed out that the Government can produce cash – CASH – at will. For whatever they want. Unless that something is allowing the public to know what the environmental impact is of one of their pet projects.

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          It didn’t produce the cash el tardo – that was from frozen assets from Iran.

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          If you would have cited an amount other than “$400 million”, I wouldn’t have replied.
          You know what you meant.

          Yes, it was Iran’s frozen assets, and the money seems to have been used to induce the hostage release – but Ronnie Reagan did a similar thing – so, we’re even on that one.

          Oddly, it’s probably a good thing that these “deals” stay secret, in the sense that publicizing them may encourage future hostage-taking.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatist

            Discouraging future hostage taking is exactly the reason stunts like this are ILLEGAL. Keeping them secret does NOTHING to discourage future hostages because the Iranians know exactly what really happened.

            This was a failed cover up, plain and simple. If it were really not a bribe, the government would have announced it and publicly modified the timing. Obama is basically doing everything he can to prevent the illegally implemented (non) treaty from blowing up. Iran has him (us) by the balance.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Defenders of the indefensible will really tie themselves up in irrational knots to do it. Sometimes the simple explanation is also the one that doesn’t require one to lie to themselves and humiliate themselves in public. It’s one thing to have been stupid enough to have done something with horrible repercussions. It’s another thing to deny all reason and introduce irrelevant distractions to avoid facing up to that mistake, even if you made it again four years later.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            Idealists are fools, and warmongers are animals, and ne’er the twain shall meet.

          • 0 avatar
            operagost

            Ah, the legendary ad hominem tu quoque. Never fails.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Just about everything a government agency does or doesn’t do is dictated by statute (law). The laws are complex, contradictory, and often counter productive. It’s nearly impossible for a government agency to operate without violating one statute or another.

      Often statute dictates a government agency perform a task, but fails to provide the funding. The agency must choose between performing that task for another task. Yes, choices are made.

      Government agencies are often inefficient and often ineffective. It’s not because they’re inherently designed that way, it’s because these laws don’t give them any other way to operate.

      • 0 avatar

        “The laws are complex, contradictory, and often counter productive. It’s nearly impossible for a government agency to operate without violating one statute or another.”

        The same can be said for those in the private sector.

        “Often statute dictates a government agency perform a task, but fails to provide the funding. The agency must choose between performing that task for another task. Yes, choices are made.”

        When those in the private sector make choices that violate statutes, the public sector prosecutes them.

        Many laws are heavily influenced by and in some case written by the same executive branch agencies that will enforce them. To say that big government doesn’t work because the people who love big government did an inferior job crafting the rules they wish to apply to us takes some level of chutzpah.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          “The same can be said for those in the private sector.”

          Yes, but nowhere near the level it is at for the public sector. The old saying goes “In the private sector, if the law doesn’t say you can’t, then you can. In the public sector, if the law doesn’t say you can, you can’t”.

          It’s difficult for the private sector. It’s impossible for the public sector.

          • 0 avatar

            That’s an old saying that no longer applies to our current version of gentry, public employees. The current form is “What is not expressly permitted for the private sector to do is prohibited and what is not expressly prohibited to do for the public sector is permitted.”

            The minor form is “Whatever made you think you could park there just because there was no sign?” and the major form is Lois Lerner.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Bravo to both comments, brn.

            Really, people only give lip service to the concept of purgatory until they get Monica from the GAO on the phone.

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          Government agencies have budgets that must be spent on very specific things. The fact that the EPA has a multi-billion dollar budget is irrelevant if the specific line-item that could be used for this study does not have sufficient funds. It is VERY common for one law to mandate that an agency do X, (like write a study or a regulation) and then another law forbidding them from spending money to write said report or publish the regulation.

          And yes, agencies do take a stab at writing their budgets every year, but said budgets are often heavily modified my Congress, and in the case of the current state of affairs between the legislature and executive, completely tossed in the trash. For years on end.

          The federal agency, regulation, and budget process is not as nearly cut and dried as you think it is.

          • 0 avatar

            Imagine if a private sector firm said that they just didn’t have enough funds to budget for compliance with EPA standards.

            Every single excuse offered here for the EPA would sound ridiculous (and possibly criminal) if offered on behalf of private sector actors.

            Somehow there’s always an excuse why government fails, usually it’s that they didn’t spend enough of our money.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            Do we REALLY need to go through the EPA waste files again?
            I don’t have time time or the energy to revisit every EPA waste link I have on file…you should know this already.
            It seems this has to come up every time they claim money shortings.
            Please…

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Hey Ronnie,
            Thanks for your commentary on why government fails. Did you send it via the internet? Yet another government failure, huh?

          • 0 avatar
            sirwired

            Ronnie,

            If the appropriations laws don’t have funds to perform a certain activity, it’s actually ILLEGAL for said agency to spend that money.

            Yes, if a private company pled poverty when told to follow a law, they’d be punished for it.

            But the EPA does not set it’s own budget; the budget itself (which is separate from the laws governing what the agency is supposed to do) is ALSO determined by Congress. It routinely creates situations like this.

            It’s akin to a law saying: “People named Ronnie shall have all income over $40k taxed at 100%” and then a second law saying “People named Ronnie shall purchase $50k in groceries every year out of post-tax income.” Yes, it’s self-contradictory. But it ALSO happens ALL. THE. TIME. in the Federal budget.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          A common complaint from libertarians is that congressional staffs writing legislation are cribbing from materials, and sometimes whole texts, provided by lobbyists of special interests.

          Executive departments also provide Congress with proposed text for presidential proposals, but even those are reviewed by lobbyists for various interests that also support the sponsoring congressmen and other key congressmen with campaign or other “donations”.

          Neither congressmen, their staffs, the President, or executive agencies get all that they want without private lobbying efforts to modify, dilute, or obfuscate the proposed legislation on their clients’ behalf.

          We now have government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, for the lobbyists’ clients. At least that’s what libertarians say, and I have a hard time telling them they’re wrong.

          • 0 avatar

            “Regulatory capture”

            You can come closer to achieving your desired outcome without more government in nearly everything unless your primary desired outcome is “more government”.

      • 0 avatar

        How about they do not compete?

    • 0 avatar

      sirwired said “But it ALSO happens ALL. THE. TIME. in the Federal budget.” In my mind the fact it happens all the time does not – and should not – make it acceptable practice. Our government often violates it’s own mandates/rules/regulations – status quo one may say. Again,that does not mean it should go unpunished or should continue to be accepted practice. That was my take away from Ronnie’s comments.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    …country’s energy needs don’t adversely affect the environment…

    Well, that rules out ethanol. From a “well to wheel” analysis ethanol is a fail. Where it does come out ahead is that it is much less toxic than old-school octane boosters such as MTBE which has poisoned many a water well…

    • 0 avatar

      It’s likely due to the political influence of the corn industry, but I’m surprised that the United States has never promoted making ethanol from sugar beets, which are significantly more energy positive than corn. The northern tier of states from Idaho to Michigan produce millions of tons of sugar beets, which have a 2:1 energy ratio (when turned into ethanol) compared to corn’s 1.3:1.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    An unbiased report would no doubt conclude the corn based ethanol is harmful to the environment – which would not go down well in farm states – so lets kick the can down the road until 2024. Interesting that when VW decides to not comply with environmental regulations it receives a multi-billion dollar fine, but when the EPA does not comply with environmental regulations they get a 8 year extension and a larger budget.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      What if they had done the report and it said ethanol was bad for the environment? We’d have been out a couple of million dollars and the end result would have been to study it again in 8 years. I figure someone just saved us some tax dollars by not doing the report.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      2024 is a convenient year – at the end of an assumed Clinton second term. Clearing Hillarys calendar of an inconvenient issue?

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      “An unbiased report would no doubt conclude”

      An unbiased report would no doubt agree with your bias?

      I do agree that Ethanol is harmful to the environment. Same would be true for oil, solar, wind, etc. It takes resources to generate energy.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        As always, we have to read between the lines on these things and trace out the funding channels for said reports. There have been several reports damning ethanol recently, and every single one of them has been funded by some oil committee.

        One giveaway is the cited line, “The AP reported that with corn effectively subsidized, farmers put millions of acres of land formerly devoted to conservation into corn production, destroying animal habitats and polluting water supplies.”

        – The term “millions of acres” is meaningless. An exact number is needed, and is likely not that large;

        – NO FARMER EVER devotes land that they own to conservation. They make money by planting and harvesting. Devoting land to conservation means lower profits, which very few farmers can afford. But, the Federal Government does indeed pay farmers to “idle” land occasionally, which is an utter waste of taxpayer dollars.

        – “Destroying animal habitats” tugs at the heartstrings, but is meaningless as well. Which animals? Field mice that live in corn fields already? Snakes? Wild mustangs? Marmots?

        – “Polluting water supplies” is another meaningless term. How is planting corn polluting the water cycle (hint, it adds nitrogen which increases algae)… But that in and of itself does not pollute the water aquifers or water supply.

        I suspect the AP had some additional financial help in producing this report. Planting and harvesting corn is relatively neutral overall – after all, any crop planted uses the free energy of the sun to grow. And, while growing, said plant removes CO2 from the air we breathe. When harvested for Ethanol production, only the sugars are fermented from the corn. The remaining nutrients and plant matter are dried and fed to cattle. I highly doubt these benefits will be mentioned, however…

        • 0 avatar

          “Wild mustangs” are an environmentally destructive invasive species that should be destroyed on all public lands (per NPS policy). Unlike feral hogs,all wild horses could be eliminated in less than a year. I understand why people love wild horses and would encourage them to demand some public lands harboring wild horses (such as the Virginia islands where “Stormy” and “Misty” live) be privatized immediately to spare these majestic animals from the National Park Service snipers.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          “NO FARMER EVER devotes land that they own to conservation. ”

          I would encourage you to actually ask a few farmers before making such blanket statements.

          • 0 avatar


            “NO FARMER EVER devotes land that they own to conservation. ”

            I would encourage you to actually ask a few farmers before making such blanket statements.”

            Or Ducks Unlimited.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    Surely you are intelligent enough not to compare fraud for profit by vw with clearly stipulated consequences vs. Govt inefficiency

    • 0 avatar
      Whittaker

      Are you excusing breaking the law as Govt inefficiency?

      I guess Whiskey was right…laws are only for the little people.

      “No officer, I didn’t shoplift that ham. I just inefficiently paid for it.”

      Its obvious that the EPA violated the law because they didn’t want to follow it and knew there wouldn’t be any serious consequences.
      Same reasons Lois Lerner and the IRS targeted political opponents.
      Same reasons ATF went ahead with “Fast and Furious”.
      Same reasons the VA fudged the appointment records.
      Same reasons Hillary used a private server for classified info.
      They all know this administration isn’t going to prosecute itself.

      If the administration was Republican, the differences would be minor.

      When we elect unprincipled candidates we get unprincipled Govt.
      We have met the enemy, and they is us.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    The power is still on and the trash is still being picked up. This is what most would consider effective government. Therein lies the problem – most people just don’t care about much else as they don’t see things like this directly impacting their lives.

    We get the government we deserve.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    Stupid comparison and (hopefully) you know it.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Except for a spike in 2010 (to 10.3bn) the EPA’s budget has hovered around 8bn for the past 10 years, and the number of employees of the agency has dropped from 17.9k to 15.3k in the same 10 yrs.
    http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPURL.cgi?Dockey=P100LK5H.txt

    Lawyers aren’t getting any cheaper, and I don’t think the EPA’s workload has decreased, either.

    I’d love to see how much the agency spent in defending itself against congressional committees full of pols funded by lobbyists of some dirty little industries.

    • 0 avatar
      motorrad

      Well the EPA is supposed to protect the environment. That is their mandate. Yiu would think that they would be interested in whether a law passed by Congress was harmful to the environment or not. I would not be surprised (not making any assertions just saying I wouldn’t be surprised) if the ethanol mandate is actually more harmful to the environment than the cheating VW diesels.

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        Their mandate *is* to protect the environment, but we live in a political climate where it is no longer possible to advocate removing ethanol from fuel, thereby burning more fossil fuels, even if the net effect of this action is an improvement in the environment. Nuance and fact-based analysis have been sacrificed to the gaping maw of the for-profit newsgathering and policy-by-lobbyist that live off of feelings, advertising, and a polarized electorate who have clearly been brutalized by a failed public education system.

    • 0 avatar

      One would imagine that scientists would be a more important resource for the EPA than lawyers.

      At least some of the EPA and DOT budgets should go towards research like what’s done at Livormore and other gov’t labs, but I get the feeling that bureaucrats have more fantasies about being the police than about being scientists.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Thanks, Ronnie,
        Great reading your fantasies about bureaucrats’ fantasies. Keep it up!

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Well, their fantasies cover more than policing, although power to enforce does give them goose bumps. In fact, their true passion is changing the world.
        Changing it to what they believe is the better way.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          TT,
          Perhaps you’d like to go back in time to when we had lead in our gas, many cities’ drinking water was contaminated, the air was clogged with carcinogens and our wetlands were quickly being eliminated?

          Sometimes change is a good thing.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I feel like it is not unreasonable to like some environmental regulations and dislike some environmental regulations. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing.

            I don’t believe that wanting to drop the E10 mandate (or wanting a report on the effects of the current ethanol rules) necessarily means championing the return to leaded gas or a burning Lake Erie.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            VoGo

            I do not feel like going down this road again. Just like all liberals, you change the subject at hand to some general statement…like the above. Who in heck ever wanted to go back to a time when there was no government regulations…if there EVER was such a time?
            By living in , wherever I live, I have chosen to participate in some community AND the government we design.

            HOWEVER, this nation, the USA, was formed by dissention and rebellion. So it is within our rights and in our bones to fight against the controlling and power grabbing “nature” of government.
            Its what we do.

            So stop getting all goofy in your remarks and try to be specific and on point.

            And if you think the EPA was OK by ignoring a law put in place by the government we voted for, then that s your weak kneed stance. If you again think that their excuse was lack of funds, then you accept any excuse your libby mentality can find to keep its point.

            You obviously love the EPA and every damned regulatory, legal or unlawful move they make.

            You must not live on a yellow/green river in Colorado.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “Who in heck ever wanted to go back to a time when there was no government regulations…if there EVER was such a time?”

            Donald Trump – (drops mike)

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    This study sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This is all about politics and big dollars.

    The EPA did “break the law”, so to speak and if they get a fine how is it payed? Through taxation.

    Subsidised corn farming was around well before the introduction to ethanol. I remember as a kid in the Sixties my grandfather in Upstate New York was paid to not grow corn for a couple of years by the government.

    Ethanol is just an expansion of a system of socialist practices and vote buying.

    I did read the average household income of a corn farmer 5 years ago was $86k per year, nearly three times that of the average American household.

    The corn farmers are very reliant on this taxpayer existence. It will be hard to change.

    It will take to understand where the EPA is going with this, many votes, dollars, and big businesses are involved.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I see you are as well versed in American politics as you are on how much 73.847999% of F-150 owners haul in their beds.

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      Oh no, not empty beds?!?

      I just drove to the gas station for a Diet Dew and took the long way home in my super inefficient Jeep Wrangler, it has 4 seats, there was only 1 in the vehicle. THE HORROR. How irresponsible for me driving something I want and not taking a moped.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Just look at all the excusers and spin doctors. You guys crack me up.

    Surprised nobody has found a way, yet, to blame it all on Bush and paint the Obama Admin as victims of the evil right.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Johnny,
      From what I can gather Ronnie is a NRA Redneck, an interesting and intelligent Redneck.

      So I don’t think your comment is very accurate.

      I do read many comments here and in other sites where people treat politics akin to supporting their favourite sporting team.

      Both sides are in it for themselves first. The differences at the end of the day are marginal.

      Where huge political divisions occur there generally is strife and mayhem. Donnie Dump is close in trying to create a polarised US with his use of fear and just pure bullsh!t.

      I lean to the right, but I’d rather see Hillary any day of the week govern the US over Donnie Dump.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Big Al: you correctly wrote above: “The EPA did “break the law”, so to speak and if they get a fine how is it payed? Through taxation.” Yet the same can be said of VW, because VW the corporation will not pay the fine – it will be VW shareholders (including pension funds for little old ladies), VW and VW supplier employees (who pay with lower wages and layoffs), dealers (who pay with less attractive future VWs due to R&D cuts) and other people that will pay the fines.

        The question then becomes what should be the penalty when the government officials break the law? Particularly when they so seldom get fired or put in jail – see recent example of Hillary Clinton e-mails.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          In the big picture, the email “scandal”, while showing poor judgement, is hardly on the scale of what some politicians have gotten away with. Say, trading arms for hostages, starting a war that destabilized an entire region that allowed groups like ISIS to rise….emails are a non-starter. And no, I’m not a supporter of Hillary.

          • 0 avatar

            The Mideast hasn’t been stable since Rome’s hegemony, and probably before them as well. Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Seljuks, and Ottomans sequentially conquered the area.

      • 0 avatar
        mtmmo

        It’s no surprise to see an admitted bigot wanting to pull the lever for H.

      • 0 avatar

        Pretty sure “redneck” is a pejorative and in any case, it’s not generally applied to folks with a northern urban background as I have. Are there any redneck Jews? Maybe Kinky Friedman (and the Kinkster’s family background is hardly red-dirt Texas poor).

        I belief the 2nd Amendment protects the right for individuals to arm themselves, and I possess a firearm that’s was my late father’s (he was a veterinarian who made house calls, carrying drugs and money, some of his clients were Detroit cops so he could get a CCW when it was hard to get), but I’m not a member of the NRA.

        I typically call myself a small L libertarian.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Ronnie,
          There is a Jewish guy I know in Miami he’s a friend of my friend who is also Jewish.

          Anyway, this guy is a lawyer of some sorts and drives a Lexus, nice car. He’s a vegetarian and he has an arsenal of assault rifles and weapons you would would love to see.

          He’s also a volunteer Ranger in the Everglades. He took me out one night on a “personal” tour. Fantastic night. Gators are very timid. You can walk up to them and they just go back into the swamp.

          I do not disagree with guns, but I don’t believe anyone needs assault weapons and concealed weapons, ie, pistols. They are for one purpose and one purpose only.

          I view hunting for bears, etc as cruel and not very sporting. If you want to hunt bears, etc, why not make it truly competitive and you only have a Leathermans to combat the bear with.

          Hunting and fishing for food is okay. But, just to go out and “kill” for the sake of it, doesn’t appear to me to be “sporting”.

          The 2nd was initally designed hundreds of years ago to challenge the British, not your community and neighbours.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            “Hunting and fishing for food is okay. But, just to go out and “kill” for the sake of it, doesn’t appear to me to be “sporting”.”

            Controlled hunts are necessary because most natural predators have died out. Should we continue to allow the deer population to swell because some Australian believes that hunting is “not very sporting”?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            JD23,
            I never realised deer are predatory as a bear.

            As I stated to kill an animal needlessly is inane from my perspective. I never not to cull animals.

            Also, I was talking about animals higher up the food chain. Bears was the animal I referred to.

            As for sporting? WFT? How sporting is it to bait an animal then sit in a tree and shot the damn thing?

            Like I said give a person a pocket knife to challenge the bear, then it will even up the sport.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “If you want to hunt bears, etc, why not make it truly competitive and you only have a Leathermans to combat the bear with.” Ok, until some guy actually does it, then you and the rest of the internet rage machine go into over drive.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/josh-bowmar-hunter-alberta-bear-spear-charges-prosecution-a7196346.html

            “The 2nd was initally designed hundreds of years ago to challenge the British, not your community and neighbors.”

            The 2nd amendment was written after we already beat the British. Jeez, if you are gonna come here and criticize or laws at least spend 3 seconds learning history. It was designed to fight tyranny, be it the Brits or your “community”

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I don’t condone VW’s flouting of environmental regulations, but I would be willing to bet serious money that an 8+ year delay in shutting down ethanol subsidies due to this ‘missing’ EPA report will cause multiple times the environmental damage as created by the dirty VW diesels. The use of corn to make fuel has raised the price of corn for food – which has no doubt caused some starvation related disease and deaths in poorer regions of the world. Plowing up grassland to grow more corn has no doubt cause death to wildlife that have lost their habitat. Most studies also seem to suggest that growing and processing corn for ethanol generate more greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution than is produced by the gasoline it replaces. VW leadership was rightly forced to resign because of the diesel scandal, but I will be shocked if anyone at the EPA loses their job because they ignored an inconvenient law.

  • avatar
    Whittaker

    “According to Upton’s testimony, the EPA has doubled the money it hands out to foreign countries with nearly $12 million dollars in foreign grants given out in 2009. Almost $22 million was given in 2010 and a further $28 million was handed out in 2011.
    Some of the projects outlined by the committee include a grant $141,450 to China to study swine manure. Another $305,849 to the Science and Technology center in the Ukraine to retrain former Newly Independent States (NIS) weapons scientists.
    Over $400,000 was given to Indonesia for the “Breathe Easy Jakarta” program for urban air quality management and a further $1,226,841 to the United Nations for clean fuel promotion.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/12/republicans-blast-epa-taxpayer-funded-grants-to-china/#ixzz4HzZHcB9Q

    Alas, the crushing workload of the EPA as it tries serve the citizens
    of the USA.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Well here I am on a Sunday, sitting in my office, taking a short break before I go back to some paperwork that’s due tomorrow. (Just a salaried worker no additional compensation for being here.)

    Maybe I should just tell my bosses that they’ll have it by 2024, knock off and go play golf?

    It worked for the EPA.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I long for a day when there’s no corn in my soda and no corn in my gas tank.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      You can actually have both of those if you care enough.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        First one is significantly easier than the second, can’t find any stations selling no-ethanol gas around here.

        What I’d really like is a lower-sugar real sugar cola that’s sweet but not disgustingly sweet like real sugar Pepsi and HFCS Coke can be. But nobody seems to do that, it’s either full sugar or Diet.

        • 0 avatar

          New Yorkers…non ethanol gas can be found at any “Stewarts” gas station in Ulster County or further north. The closest one is in New Paltz or slightly further south, in Plattekill. The premium is branded “non ethanol”. Unfortunately, not the many Stewarts located in Dutchess County…

          Otherwise, we in the NYMA “Emissions Attainment Area” are stuck with RFG, the ethanol polluted gas…

          Ethanol. It is for drinking, not driving.

    • 0 avatar

      There may be taste differences between corn syrup fructose and cane/beet sucrose, but the body treats all complex sugars the same way: breaks them down to simple sugars and converts those to glycogen for near term energy use and fat for long term storage.

      With all those pesticides and preservatives and factory produced foodstuffs it must be a miracle that people are living to their 90s. /s

      • 0 avatar

        Ok, then why do I get indigestion when I consume a soda or beer made with corn syrup, but not sugar or malt ? Not a bad thing, really, I avoid soda entirely, save the occasional mexi-coke sold at Home Depot, so that is a win, and can’t abide cheap beer.

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          Wikipedia: “In the contemporary process, corn is milled to produce corn starch and an “acid-enzyme” process is used in which the corn starch solution is acidified to begin breaking up the existing carbohydrates, and then enzymes are added to further metabolize the starch and convert the resulting sugars to fructose.[18]:808–813 The first enzyme added is alpha-amylase which breaks the long chains down into shorter sugar chains – oligosaccharides. Glucoamylase is mixed in and converts them to glucose; the resulting solution is filtered to remove protein, then using activated carbon, and then demineralized using Ion-exchange resins. The purified solution is then run over immobilized xylose isomerase, which turns the sugars to ~50–52% glucose with some unconverted oligosaccharides, and 42% fructose (HFCS 42), and again demineralized and again purified using activated carbon. Some is processed into HFCS 90 by liquid chromatography, then mixed with HFCS 42 to form HFCS 55. The enzymes used in the process are made by microbial fermentation.”

          Yum, TASTY.

  • avatar
    TomHend

    Government long ago became a mechanism to benefit the few at the expense of the many.

    Vote for your favorite Uniparty candidate this November.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    “EPA Broke the Law…” is the kind of headline I see too much of here, spinning like a runaway prop. Since half the readers read only the headlines, they can move on with another ratification of Bad-Ol’-Gummint thinking that so many find satisfying.

    But breaking the law usually implies sins of commission, not omission. Later in the story, we read that the EPA “…the agency failed to follow the law and produce the studies,” which is more accurate but less powerful click-bait. And why did the EPA delay this study? Looks like you have to ask Obama, since this happened, or didn’t happen, on his watch. But Congress still holds the power of the purse, and a few corn-state senators can do a lot to stop any government initiative.

    Beyond casting blame, where to go from here? Some would abolish the EPA, but that would guarantee that no EPA study will go forward. That’s not in the best long-term interest of most of us air-breathing, water-drinking species, of course. I’d rather we give better funding to the EPA so it won’t have any excuses, like understaffing or outdated equipment or relying on private contractors.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Well…you could stop enforcing the ethanol percentage in our gas, damn it.

      That would be a start.

      Next, it would be nice to see somebody, anybody, in the EPA lose their jobs.
      Nobody was even bothered by the mine/river disaster! Nobody lost their jobs.
      Hell…the damned companies hired by the EPA that caused the spillage even got bigger, more expensive contracts!

      Does ANYBODY suffer consequences in government?!

      GO TRUMP!!!!! I gave in and I am joining the mountain people here in MO and joining the Trump camp. Every once in awhile I just throw all caution to the wind.

    • 0 avatar
      jefmad

      Try not filing your taxes, see if the .gov thinks you broke the law by omission of your responsibilities.

  • avatar
    Chets Jalopy

    As usual, nobody will burn for this.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    End oppressive, lying government! Then the libertarians will create another one.

    Because the day gets *so* long when everyone runs at the sight of you.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Donald Trump – the answer to all of those pesky EPA rules.

    He keeps braying on about evil immigrants, crime, terrorism, etc.

    His proposed cuts to government agencies that regulate polluters could cost more lives than all of the terrorist attacks ever, by rampant companies poisoning our living space, just like the “good old days”.

    And even before the environment was protected by the people, it wasn’t enough to keep the economy afloat, because rampant greed still wrecked the country (see The Roaring 20’s).

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Heavens to grandma.

    Ethanol made some sense when imported oil cost $100 per barrel or more. Gasoline cost $4.00 per gallon more or less. Now, with fracking, oil is at most $70 per barrel and probably much less over the long term.

    Ethanol no longer makes any sense at all in the USA.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    EPA’s mistake was being honest: “we just DID a study a couple of years ago, nobody read the damn thing, the facts haven’t changed much since we did that one, and there’s a snowball’s chance in hell the policy’s gonna change regardless of what we find.”

    They should have just put a new date on the old study and re-submitted it. Maybe thrown in a literature review of any more-recent publications.

    Somewhere between the oil lobby’s public-relations jihad against ethanol, and the farm lobby’s corny campaign for it, lies truth. Jamie Kitman’s recent piece on ethanol in Automobile is a welcome relief from the tsunami of BS on this subject. Here ’tis: http://www.automobilemag.com/news/war-against-ethanol-part-1/


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