MA Rep Delahunt's E-Mail: Ethanol Subsidies A "No-Brainer"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

"As Congress makes final decisions on the energy bill, one of the most important decisions to be made is whether or not to implement a more aggressive national renewable fuels standard (RFS). This is a no-brainer… Opponents of the RFS– and we all know who they are– have decided that the best way to avoid one is to smear corn ethanol… This clever campaign is loaded with half-truths and red herrings. Along with misleading claims that ethanol contributes to global warming, or relies too heavily on public subsidies– subsidies which are a rounding error compared to government subsidization of the oil industry– it is often said that ethanol is not produced in a renewable manner or that it increases food prices… The fact that fossil fuels are required to produce ethanol from these renewable feedstocks is a given, because the production of any source of energy requires energy, and the U.S. energy sector is fossil-fuel based. But ethanol producers are increasingly efficient, and some are beginning to co-fire their plants with biomass. Most importantly to me, the feedstocks for biofuels are domestic. No U.S. soldier will ever die defending a cornfield… Government support for corn ethanol is miniscule compared to the $3 billion U.S. taxpayers spend each week fighting wars in the Middle East… Corn ethanol can take us only so far. I look forward to the day when the next generation of biofuels are commercialized and widely available… But to get to tomorrow we need to make pragmatic choices today. That means a strong renewable fuel standard in this year''s energy bill to ensure that the next generation of biofuels becomes a reality."

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Nov 09, 2007

    I hope this guy lives long enough to realize the stupidity of what he is saying. We will not have the luxury of turning our food into fuel once oil is in short supply.

  • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Nov 09, 2007

    There are a couple ways of dealing with the gasoline crisis. The first is to use less, and the second is to get more. Everybody knows some Americans have a God-given right to drive 10-mpg SUVs, so the first is a non-starter. Let’s look at the second. Remember Canada, the big frozen country just north of the U.S.A.? It happens Canada is the United States' single largest foreign energy supplier providing 17-percent of U.S. oil imports. Its 175-billion barrel proven petroleum reserve make it the world’s second-largest after Saudi Arabia. Bonus, its army is smaller than the Mayberry PD and is equipped with clapped-out 1952 Dodge trucks! Here’s the plan. Dubya will declare Canada has weapons of mass destruction, send in the Marines, overthrow the government, and confiscate their oil. Is that great, or what? Americans will be filling up with buck a gallon gas in a couple of days!!!!

  • EJ_San_Fran EJ_San_Fran on Nov 09, 2007

    Thank you, Mr. Delahunt, I agree with you very much. We need to be forward looking and get rid of oil addiction over the next few decades. As Hillary says: "We need to invent our way out." I strongly support cellulosic biofuel made from energy crops. Biofuels should be of the 2nd generation type that look a lot like gasoline. Corn ethanol is not all that great, but can play a role in relatively modest quantities (say 10B gallons/year). A smart RFS like we have in California can take care of all this (i.e. get us to start with corn ethanol and switch to 2nd gen later).

  • Stuntnun Stuntnun on Nov 11, 2007

    if they were truly worried about co2 build up in the atmosphere,what soaks up more co2 ,an acre of corn thats there only half the year in temperate climates? or a forest or grass land thats there year round even in the winter? ethanol destroys the natural environment, a 4th grader could figure this out if they were given the facts, not spin.--hey ej, i have to wear clothes to work and when im out in public, does that mean i have a clothing addiction?