E85 Boondoggle Of The Day: A Very Bailout Christmas

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
e85 boondoggle of the day a very bailout christmas

Well, it was only a matter of time. After all, the ethanol industry receives about $7b in annual government subsidies and still can’t turn a profit when times are good. Why, they’re going to need the most special bailout of all! The WSJ’s Washington Wire reports that the Renewable Fuels Association recently sent a bailout-begging mission to DC. The RFA lobbyists met with congressional and Obama staffers and reportedly “provided them with some ideas on how to craft the language of” an economic recovery package. Run that phrase through the DC bullshit decoder, and it turns out that the RFA team was actually lobbying for a massive bailout package. And a hauntingly familiar massive bailout package at that. The RFA is seeking $1 billion short-term credit facility so ethanol producers could finance current operations (think “bridge loans”); a $50 billion federal loan guarantee program to finance investment in new renewable fuel production capacity and supporting infrastructure (think “136 loans”); and a requirement that any auto maker receiving federal aid only produce new vehicles that can run on any blend up to 85% ethanol, beginning with the 2010 model season (give up on democracy). Meanwhile, the RFA’s Matt Hartwig insists that “we’re not asking for a specific bailout, but rather, as a trade association, we’re providing ideas to an incoming Congress and a new administration about ways to bolster the domestic renewable fuel industry.” Right. (Hat Tip: Reason Hit & Run)

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  • John Horner John Horner on Dec 18, 2008

    "While they are at it they should kill the tariff on non-fermented sugar so Americans can eat real food again." +1 to that. The main reason corn syrup is used as a sweetener in so many domestic foods is that stupid cane sugar tax.

  • PabloKoh PabloKoh on Dec 18, 2008

    More agribusiness crap. These big businesses and their Washington lobbyists have ruined the reputation of ethanol as an auto fuel. Ethanol from agribusiness products suck. Hell, agribusiness products suck. The amount of natural gas based pesticides and fertilizers that they use to grow corn is just shameful. We need to start growing crops with sustainable systems of rotation instead of crying to the government asking for loans to buy more fertilizer to spread on the fields filled with seeds bred to grow only with fertilizer. But I disagree with the author in regards to making all cars capable of running on ethanol. If the Big Three wants my money I want a choice of fuels. The cost increase at the factory is less than $50 per car. What is wrong with a choice? You fill your car with gas. I will fill mine with ethanol.

  • Charly Charly on Dec 18, 2008

    Petrol with a small amount of ethanol is better petrol than pure petrol so you don't want a list with 100% pure petrol, but a 98.5% pure list would be good.

  • Luther Luther on Dec 18, 2008

    Don't we have a 4th Amendment right to exterminate parasites?