By on February 7, 2015

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Look for the leading presidential candidates to sing corn ethanol’s praises, louder than ever, in 2016. A bipartisan coalition of Iowans, called America’s Renewable Future, is gearing up to make it happen.

America’s Renewable Future is led by Republican political strategist Eric Branstad, son of Iowa governor Terry Branstad; and Derek Eadon, a Democratic political strategist who directed President Obama’s re-election campaign in Iowa.

“We want to influence the caucus goer to support a candidate who supports the RFS [renewable fuel standard],” Branstad tells TTAC. “We want to change the national dialog to support the RFS. The best way is by agitating and informing the presidential candidates how important the RFS is to the state of Iowa and to the country.”

The renewable fuel standard (RFS) refers to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations under the 2007 Energy Security and Independence Act. It requires 15 billion gallons of renewable fuel, mostly corn ethanol, to be mixed with gasoline this year, increasing to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Sixteen billion of those 36 billion gallons are supposed to come from “cellulosic biofuels,” which potentially are far more environmentally friendly than corn ethanol. The remainder of the mix includes other “advanced biofuels” and biodiesel.

(But no-one expects cellulosic to contribute much in 2022: it missed its original production target for 2013, 1.75 billion gallons, by nearly three orders of magnitude. An eminent source from the advanced biofuels side of the industry, calls the 36 billion a “stretch target with no teeth in the statute.”)

Nonetheless, even without cellulosic, the ethanol industry “is among the biggest job creators in Iowa,” and the source of “73,000 jobs [about five percent of the state’s employment—not shabby!] and $5 billion in wages,” says Branstad. The state has 50 refineries.

While the industry’s benefit to Iowa is obvious, its benefit to the rest of the country is less so. “You have one state which, because they have the first primary in the presidential election, is trying to screw every driver in the US,” says the advanced biofuels source. He notes that if Iowa were a country, at 3.9 billion gallons of ethanol annually, it would be the third largest producer in the world, after the US (10.4 billion gallons, not including Iowa’s total) and Brazil (7 billion gallons).

Of course, the major rationales behind the renewable fuel standard standard are to reduce greenhouse emissions, and dependence upon foreign oil. Most economists and many environmentalists think the greenhouse reductions would be more effectively accomplished with a carbon tax.

Mike Millikin, editor of Green Car Congress, would prefer a low carbon fuel standard that does not pick a particular emerging technology, but absent that, advocates mending the RFS, rather than voiding it. But at best, corn ethanol reduces greenhouse emissions by a measly 20 percent over gasoline, a small reduction compared to what could be obtained for cellulosic ethanol. But Millikin argues that “Efficiency in production and developments on the crop yield side will likely result in greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol, leaving aside the whole gnarly issue of land use change.”

Unfortunately, that gnarly issue won’t just go away. When food cropland is converted to produce fuel crops, the food crops have to be replaced to keep feeding the populace. That means putting new land into agricultural production. One problem is that this raises the cost of land, which raises the cost of everything that depends on land, including food, as was seen in the late ‘00s. (Forty percent of all American corn goes to ethanol, up from single digits in the ‘90s.)

The other is that natural and semi-natural lands store copious carbon. Converting central US grasslands to produce corn would release roughly 93 times the amount of carbon that would be saved annually by corn ethanol production. This creates a “carbon debt.” And if the experts on climate change are to be believed, greenhouse emissions need to be stanched now, not 93 years from now.

Cellusic ethanol can skirt both the land use and the food problems, and as such, may ultimately compete with electrons to power the nation’s fleet. A few plants are on the verge of ribbon cutting, says Scott Sklar, a prominent, Arlington, VA-based renewable energy consultant who assembles clean distributed energy projects for commercial, industrial, and military applications worldwide. He says regulatory pressure on a strict schedule is needed to make it happen.

Millikin also suggests that corn ethanol plants might help get cellulosic ethanol into production. But the anonymous source says that corn ethanol is no more a pathway to cellulosic ethanol than wall phones were to cell phones. (The tightly packed structure of cellulose, relative to starch and sugar in corn, grain, hops, and other fermentables, renders its fermentation technologically challenging.)

The current battle line in the controversy over the renewable fuel standard is the so-called E10 blend wall. The ethanol industry needs to breach that wall in order not to shrink, while the oil industry wants to maintain the wall (this is, after all, about competition for space in your gas tank). The problem, from ethanol’s point of view: for E10, annual gasoline consumption, currently ~131 billion gallons, can only absorb 13 billion gallons of ethanol, less than this year’s mandated 15 billion gallons. And US gasoline consumption is actually expected to decline slowly, due to improvements in fuel economy that were unforeseen when Congress passed the RFS. “The E10 fuel pool is now saturated with ethanol,” says Millikin.

The lobby did bang a chink into the blend wall, when EPA issued a series of actions that ultimately enabled E15 to be used in model year 2001 light duty vehicles and later, after 54 ethanol manufacturers filed a petition to allow it. The final step, June 15, 2012, was approval of a number of companies’ misfueling (putting the wrong fuel in the tank) mitigation plans. http://www.epa.gov/oms/regs/fuels/additive/e15/

Not that it’s helped them much. Fewer than one US gas station in 1,000, all of them in 12 states, offer E15. (The big news is that Sheetz, a Mid-Atlantic retailer, plans to bring it to 60 of its stations, which will raise the fraction to ever so slightly more than 1/1,000.) Consumer demand is low, and despite EPA’s approval, oil companies are leery of liability in the event of misfueling.

Still, Millikin says that if too much alcohol is produced to blend as E10, E85 flexfuel vehicles, and/or exports might soak up the remainder.

A bigger concern among the lobby is actually simply to maintain the renewable fuel standard, says the advanced biofuels source. As Millkin explains, “Ethanol is a big industry, and gets tax breaks and incentives on top of having a mandated market for their product.” But the favorable politics in the Midwest does not extend to the rest of the country. “If there were a straight up vote on the Senate floor, they would probably lose,” says the advanced biofuels source.

If past is prologue, the renewable fuel standard would probably prove popular in presidential primaries even without help from America’s Renewable Future. “In ’08, Hillary Clinton and the President both supported the RFS, and it wasn’t as big of an issue then,” says Branstad. And “Look at the top two finishers in the Iowa caucuses in ’12: Romney and [Rick] Santorum both supported the RFS. Who were the bottom two? [Rick] Perry and [Michelle] Bachman,” neither of whom supported it. And on the day after the ’12 primaries, says Branstad, a front page article in the Des Moines Register proclaimed ethanol the winner.

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108 Comments on “Iowa to Peddle Corn Squeezings During Pres’ Primary...”


  • avatar
    Dr. Doctor

    What gets me is that petrochemical-based fertilizers are used to grow corn that’s again turned into fuel. If Iowa didn’t have the political position it has there wouldn’t be any reason to produce the stuff in the first place.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      That’s one of many problems with ethanol. When you look at the process from start to consumption, it comes out a loser, certainly as far as why it was mandated in the first place. It does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. American food production is very energy intensive; the energy used to produce the stuff outweigh any offsets from reducing gasoline production. So from an environmental prospective it is a loser. But for some it is a cash cow. And there are plenty of stories of investment firms manipulating ethanol credits to their advantage – more indelible testimony to individuals and self serving interests. Ethanol has to go. If reducing greenhouse gas is really the goal, start where it counts – reducing what gets burned in the first place and reduction of methane emissions. Ethanol is a boondoggle. Those jobs in Iowa? Well, nobody seemed to care about the loss of manufacturing jobs, steelmaking jobs, etc. Iowa will adapt in favor of the new matrix.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    “This means that in addition to the government subsidy of $20 billion from 2005 – 2011 [26], every gallon of gasoline with ethanol bought is an extra subsidy from consumers to the ethanol producers.”

    http://necsi.edu/research/social/foodprices/foodforfuel/

    What a waste of a valuable resource and tax payer dollars. All for a few votes, similar to the auto industry. This type of issue occurs in most every country.

    Pch101 will not like my link as it disproves his theory, or assumption for a better word regarding what occurs with ethanol production.

    The link is very much in line with Dave’s article.

    Very good article Dave, keep them coming.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Ethanol is the biggest scam on the taxpayer and consumer as there ever was. Taxpayers are subsidizing the growers, then in turn subsidizing the ethanol producers, then mandating ethanol’s use on top of it.

    All of this is reducing our fuel mileage vs straight gas, risking our engines due to misfueling E15, raising the price of food and increasing new vehicle prices to cover the costs of ethanol safe engine components (gas tanks, fuel lines, etc). And we apparently are getting NO environmental benefit out of it either.

    And people think the oil industry is screwing us…

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Exactly. Pure bipartisan graft and crony corporatism. Filthy, expensive and disgusting. Stealing your money while you sit and watch.

    • 0 avatar

      And let’s not forget that Ethanol attracts water molecules into the engine…

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        My Taurus sat up for four years while I waited for an opportunity to have it restored. When that opportunity came, my mechanic dropped the gas tank; it was solid rust inside; no other spot on the entire car came even close it to, not even the front subframe. He ended replacing the tank, fuel pump, and several injectors; I am sure that the water in the ethanol in the E90 gas that sat there for four years is what rusted it out.

  • avatar
    jdash1972

    It takes about 1.0 units of energy to produce 1.3 units of energy in the form of ethanol, although its use does reduce vehicle emissions. Using “switch grass” to produce ethanol is a myth that and will never happen, anymore than we’ll be making it out of alge. Oddly enough, it would be a lot more efficient to grow corn, then harvest the plants, dry them and simply burn them. Can’t do that in a car of course but it would be more efficient in terms of extracting energy from the corn. Probably not very environmentally friendly either but it’s an interesting comparison. A gallon of ethanol also contains fewer BTU’s that a gallon of gasoline, so vehicles operated on E85 get something like 30% fewer miles to the gallon, meaning that the ethanol is worth less to the consumer when making that decision at the pump. At least an ethanol mandate helps to support corn prices and keep them from being so volatile.

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      The biggest polluter in a modern automobile is vapor emissions. Since ethanol causes gasoline to vent off like crazy, I don’t buy the whole reduduction of (near nonexistant) emissions promise of a wholeheartedly wasteful process.

      Just raise my taxes and give my home state their ransom demands in the form of a lump sum, so I don’t have to put this E10 squirrel piss in my car.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      The energy density issue is also significant for CAFE. E10 is only about 3% less energy dense, but it adds up when you’re supposed to achieve 54.5 mpg

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      We have a station near us that sells E85; and my wife and I were attracted to the low fuel price and used it in her flex fuel Durango for awhile. We quickly found out that the reduction in mileage offset the reduction in price per gallon we were paying, and stopped using it.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        There have been times when we traveled to Northern NM in our 2012 Pentastar V6 Grand Cherokee that we tanked up at a Circle K with E85. And the difference in mpgs is blatantly worse than with 91-octane E10.

        OTOH, when we tank up at Aztek with 91-octane pure gas (E-zero), the increase in mpgs is also quite noticeable.

  • avatar

    ethanol is for drinking, not for driving, and makes my small engines icky

    make it go away

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Alas. Fracking has killed biofuels. Gasoline is just too cheap. Goes to show you, technological advancement is a funny thing. Sometimes it takes an unexpected twist.

    As far as greenhouse gasses are concerned, any savings (or losses) from biofuels are so small as to get lost in the rounding. If you aren’t willing to shut down some coal-fired power plants, you aren’t serious enough about limiting greenhouse gas emissions to be taken seriously.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      I’m surely no expert, but the ethanol path seems presently to be nothing more than an intrenched interest that’s difficult to dislodge. It’s purpose at this point appears mostly irrelevant as an anti-polution strategy next to ones that would indeed matter, namely cleaning up or closing coal-fired plants and legislating a carbon tax. (Also meant to salute David on a very fine piece.)

      • 0 avatar
        jdash1972

        I have been to quite a few coal fired power plants where scrubbers were being installed in the process of commissioning new equipment. I asked if the scrubbers were being mandated and the answer was: not yet. But there are energy credits to be earned that can be sold for a profit. Adding a scrubber to a power plant is radical and can involve practically rebuilding the plant, it’s not an add-on accessory. They either use a liquid lime solution or limestone that is crushed in giant tumblers that pulverize the stone with steel balls. In addition to burning the equivalent of 150 railroad coal cars of coal every day, they use a lot of limestone. Imagine a coal car carrying over 100 tons of coal, multiplied by 150 cars, burned every day, forever. Over 5 million tons of coal a year, and that’s just one power plant.

  • avatar
    319583076

    The ethanol lobby around here runs several terrible pro-ethanol ads on AM radio. Some of them are short, “Your car runs better on ethanol, it just makes sense!”, while other are extended and convoluted, e.g. – The ad claims that ethanol creates jobs, buying ethanol supports those jobs, and probably *your* job, too.

    Pure garbage, but I can see how repeatedly suggesting such things to people at the end of the day as they commute home is a plausible long-con strategy to win support.

    I wonder how much money they’re spending trying to convince us to support their con?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It’s the farm-subsidy lobby that is pushing the use of corn-sourced ethanol. There are other grasses and non-feed stock that can be used to make ethanol but the use thereof is not encouraged, and in fact downplayed.

      In AZ along I-10 there are hundreds of acres of non-feedstock weeds that they’re growing for conversion to ethanol, but they can’t find any buyers for it. So they burned it. All of it. I drove through that area when it happened.

      The ethanol-from-corn movement is driven by the government subsidies given to farmers to grown corn, or to not grow corn. Last year the US had a bumper crop of corn to where much of it had to be stored. The farm-subsidy lobby wants all that excess corn to be turned into ethanol so the price of bushel-corn won’t drop.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        I worked with the most-senior engineer at a public utility who also ran a hobby farm. He was probably making about $200k in salary annually and he used the farm as justification for 4 weeks of time off in addition to his vacation for planting and harvesting, which he was able to get away with, by the way.

        The last year that we worked together, I found his name on an online resource for corn subsidies – he got $35k that year to plant corn on his hobby farm. Most people think that welfare kings only live in urban neighborhoods and are unemployed or possibly criminals, but some of them are absolutely thriving in rural corn country.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          It’s a racket out there and those who can will jump on that subsidy bandwagon. Those who can’t, like me, find all sorts of ways to not support it by avoiding the tax man altogether.

          If the US government, the EPA and whichever administration is in power at the time really wants to get serious about ethanol, biodiesel and other bio products, there are all sorts of ways to do that without subsidies.

          But it is a racket. A racket where the tax payers are made to pay for things they neither want nor need.

          Back in the 80s and 90s I used to write bids for small business owners who wanted to reap some of those funds set as!de for frivolous projects advertised in the CBD. And that is a whole different tangent on its own.

          At that time I also volunteered my time with SCORE at the SBA to help small businesses become more competitive with the help of an SBA loan.

          And I was appalled, astonished and flabbergasted to find that there was gambling going on at Ric’s Cafe Americaine…….

  • avatar
    mr.cranky

    Ethanol is without a doubt the biggest farce in relation to renewable energy. I’ve heard of how it damages the fuel system in older vehicles.

    Silly Iowans. Corn is for people, not fuel!

  • avatar
    fiasco

    Politicians who sing corn ethanol’s praises will make it easier for me to vote for Vermin Supreme.

    As far as I’m concerned, the ethanol lobby owes me three chainsaw carburetors, two lawn mowers, and two sets of carburetor boots on my Ski-Doo.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Nothing like guaranteed replies on a Saturday night!

    I had to get up and think carefully about what I was going to say before I typed this. The original version was much more vitriolic and less coherent. Growing up as the son of a farmer and the neighbor of many farmers in a town where much of the corn crop goes into ethanol (and more recently, isobutanol) production, I can’t claim to be unbiased about an issue which is very dear to my heart.

    I would think that if the growers were really raking in all the cash from the innocent taxpayer, certainly we might have seen some of that money by now? Maybe it’s because we’re a sub-500-acre operation which hasn’t put all its eggs in the corn basket and actually grows something besides corn and soybeans (hay and small grains, for anyone who cares). I will not argue that the push towards highly-fertilized King Corn and the subsequent homogenization of crops hasn’t been/won’t be detrimental towards our agricultural future, because it has and will. It certainly makes the countryside look much more boring, at any rate. What happened to the “amber waves of grain”? (Answer: They’ve all moved farther and farther north into Canada thanks to climate change and other factors, just like corn is doing.)

    Just because one supports cellulosic ethanol (which I do wholeheartedly) does not mean they have to put down all other sources. (From my bedroom window I can see the lights of nearly a hundred beautiful wind towers on the horizon at night.) The claim that corn production for ethanol cuts into food and feed production would be more valid if this were the 1980s and yields were in the 80s rather than 120s, and if livestock weren’t capable of eating inedible portions of the corn plant, or ethanol byproducts like DDG. The claim that ethanol in general is injurious towards engines would also be more valid if this were 1985 and not 2015. The types of engines it can potentially damage are the type which, nowadays, must be run on premium fuel anyway. Most of the dissenting voices, not just towards ethanol but all other forms of changes to the status quo come from (surprise, surprise) old men who are bitter that their way of life just might die out with them.

    But at the same time, I was not brought up with that most poisonous lie that I am incapable of potentially being wrong.

    I won’t be providing much in the way of sources, because honestly, I wouldn’t even know where to start. I am free to ignore or degrade as biased and inaccurate the sources of others, much as I am sure the same would be done to mine. I would wholeheartedly invite anyone and everyone to consult with an actual farmer on this, since they are the ones who are actually in the thick of this issue.

    In short, I will _not_ (and probably never, but never say never) join the consensus of the “B&B” that ethanol is the ultimate evil meant to destroy our “good” way of life. But I will say that it’s a gravy train for a select few (like so many other things) that can’t be ridden forever. I hope that corn-produced ethanol will be a stepping-stone to other, less divisive sources of energy.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “But I will say that it’s a gravy train for a select few”

      Then it should be stopped

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        As long as there are loopholes, there are people who will abuse them. See 319583076’s above comment. But there are better ways than smear campaigns. And thank you for reading my entire comment, or at least most of it. I realize I can get wordy at times.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I live in a rural corn producing community, I know it’s effects on the people around here good and bad. I know that the people who produce ethanol won’t let it anywhere near their machinery or cars.

          The negatives outweigh the positives no matter what kind of spin you want to put on it

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            We put nothing but E85 in all our FFVs, and we had put E42.5 (blender pump FTW) in our non-FFV ’98 F-250 in all the 100K miles we had it with no problems. Our 40-something-year-old JDs use E10-15 with no difficulty; they’re not picky. Even MPG issues are of little when all you get is 14 MPG regardless of fuel type, city or highway, loaded or unloaded. The only reason we have not to use any E blends is right now they don’t make financial sense, not because of any supposed ill effects on the mechanicals. If you asked all my neighbors, you’d find exactly the same situation with them as well. Does my anecdotal evidence trump yours, or vice-versa? Or do we just have two different situations that require two different ways of thinking?

            If I haven’t made it clear, I won’t be working much towards dispelling any myths, because no one here is interested in hearing them. They’d rather remain set in the old ways and always be in agreement.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            What do you put in all your other machinery?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The early Model T’s were made to run on ethanol — Henry Ford figured that a farmer might produce his own fuel.

            Today, we have race cars that can run on it just fine. (The octane ratings are higher than standard gasoline.)

            If Henry the wacky anti-Semite could figure out how to run a car on ethanol, then there isn’t much reason to believe that we can’t do the same. And I’m willing to bet that the Brazilians will answer our phone calls if we have any additional questions.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            ” Even MPG issues are of little when all you get is 14 MPG regardless of fuel type, city or highway,”

            You and I drive the same car, if that’s the kind of mileage you’re getting that’s atrocious

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Nothing else is gas except our ’95 Yamaha Timberwolf, and I’m convinced that could run on anything from bunker oil to half-water Mexican gas. It’s the proverbial Toyota pickup of ATVs. Biodiesel or red-dye offroad diesel for the other tractors, whichever’s cheaper. We’re not directly involved in the biodiesel industry (closest plant is 39 miles away, but takes an hour to get there), but we do try to support them if it doesn’t cost any more.

            And I should have clarified: That was the ’98 F-250 I was mentioning, not my ’02 Mazda. Haha, that would be atrocious. Driving like I do (granny-style, keep it in overdrive), I can eke out 26 MPG 9 months out of the year on regular gas, which is a pretty good deal if you ask me. Running on E10 or 15 I can still get 22 highway, which is what it’s rated for in the first place.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            Never ever a problem running E10 in anything. We have had E10 fuels for as long as I can remember as MN was the first state to mandate E10. Cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles, snowblowers, lawnmowers, chainsaws, you name it. Zero problems during summer/winter lay-up as well. All this nonsense about how ethanol blended fuels absorb moisture in the air and cause problems during storage is just that. Nonsense!

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Nonsense?

            “Ethanol is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water vapor directly from the atmosphere. Because absorbed water dilutes the fuel value of the ethanol (although it suppresses engine knock) and may cause phase separation of ethanol-gasoline blends, containers of ethanol fuels must be kept tightly sealed. This high miscibility with water means that ethanol cannot be efficiently shipped through modern pipelines, like liquid hydrocarbons, over long distances. Mechanics also have seen increased cases of damage to small engines, in particular, the carburetor, attributable to the increased water retention by ethanol in fuel.”-Wikipedia

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Dr. Z138, good post and enjoyed your point of view. I would be a supporter of the product if it did its intended task, namely reducing carbon output and reducing dependance of foreign based energy sources. Both are critical for America’s long term future. You see in your industry the northern shift of crops over your lifetime. I see leaves still on trees at Thanksgiving when as a kid they were all but gone by Halloween. But on both counts the ethanol program is not helping, in fact it is contributing. Add in the fact that the “select few” are making a killing at others’ expense and there is no reason to go the corn route. Cellulosic ethanol is a good thing and I support that. But here in the USA it’s Corn, baby, Corn

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            @lie2me

            Good post from a on iboats forum. The topic started when a boater suggested installing a valve on his tank vent line to prevent ethanol fuel from absorbing water and giving him problems in the spring.

            I’ve been storing boats for 25 yeas with ethanol fuels. At one time I had 4 of them in storage. Never ever an issue in the spring. Trust me I’m not that lucky.
            ———————————————————
            Lets put this water in the air issue to some real numbers…. (Simplifying all the physics involved and using common layman’s units) ….

            Assuming a worse case 90F Florida day; it will take 214 gallons of 100% Humidity, Fully Saturated air, to suspend one(1) ounce of water vapor.

            Now, assuming a 20 gallon fuel tank that is half full. The 10 gallons of E-10 in the tank will absorb 6.14 ounces of water before separation begins.
            That means the fuel would need to completely absorb absolutely all the water from over 1300 gallons of air to just begin phase separation.

            There is only a 10 gallon air space above the fuel.
            Then, assuming that the temperature of the air swings enough that the Air and Fuel in the tank, vary by 20 degrees every day/night.
            (The ambient air temperature might need to vary 30-40 degrees to get the fuel mass insulated by the boat to move this much.)
            This would cause the 10 gallon Air Space tank to breath by 3.6% every day/night.
            It would take 3,750 Nights (9.8 Years) to Pump the 1300 gallons of 100% Humidity Air through the tank.

            Remember this assumes 10 years of 90 degree 100% humidity weather;
            and that the air going into the tank does not float on top of the heavy fuel vapors;
            and that the fuel absorbs 100% of the available water vapor leaving the the tank air at 0% humidity;
            and that the vapors from the 90 degree fuel evaporating fuel in the tank does not push out the incoming air.
            That is a lot of assumptions.

            It just isn’t going to happen.

            Want experimental proof?
            Place a completely uncovered, open to the air, jar of gasoline in a safe place for a week.
            About half of it will evaporate, but no water will be seen to have accumulated in the bottom of the jar.
            Your storage conditions wont get much worse than this!

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Interesting, maybe you should stop shilling for the ethanol lobby and work for Honda, because they think it’s a bad idea and they should know what’s bad for their engines

            ” Other interesting facts about ethanol

            Ethanol is produced from corn, soybeans, sugar cane, or other organic material. It is blended with gasoline (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline) to produce E10.
            Ethanol has 28% less energy density than gasoline, so it reduces fuel efficiency.
            Ethanol is an excellent solvent, drying agent and cleanser. It will clean or dissolve some parts of, and deposits in, fuel storage and fuel delivery systems, including some fuel tank materials. The dissolved material can clog filters or pass through and leave deposits on fuel injectors, fuel pumps, fuel pressure regulators, carburetor jets, intake tracts, valves, and valve guides.
            Ethanol is hygroscopic, which means it attracts and retains water. The lower the fuel level in the tank, the more likely you will experience water contamination. If the contamination is severe, a layer of alcohol/water can form at the bottom of the fuel tank. This is called phase separation, and can cause damage to the fuel tank and engine.

            To help prevent water contamination problems when using a gasoline/ethanol mix:

            Keep your fuel tank as full as possible with fresh fuel and out of direct sunlight.
            Install additional water separating fuel filters in your boat and keep spare filters on-hand.
            Use a fuel stabilizer along with fresh fuel when your boat is stored (follow the procedure noted in your owner’s manual to ensure proper storage).
            Use a gas station with a reputation for quality fuel.
            Know the specific fuel laws for your state as laws and fuel composition change often.”

            http://marine.honda.com/support/maintenance/fuel-recommendations

            And this from Fuel Testers…

            Be cautious when using E10 (ethanol/alcohol blend fuels) in marine and boat engines…

            Ethanol alcohol is a solvent, degreaser, cleanser, antifreeze and most problematic is ethanol’s “hygroscopic” properties. Hygroscopic and miscible means ethanol attracts and absorbs water.

            Ethanol fuels, (E10 and E85), rapidly absorb 50 times more water, than non-alcohol gas.

            **Alcohol fuels are not suitable for marine engine use…**
            Many have unsuccessfully requested government exemption for ethanol in marine engines. (aircraft fuels are exempt)
            Unfortunately due to recent state and federal laws, you may have no other alternative than to purchase E10 (alcohol containing) gas at public gas stations.

            http://www.fuel-testers.com/marine_boat_ethanol_problems.html

            In other words Carlson Fan, you’re WRONG

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      If you need subsidies to keep the farms in your area running, why should it be corn ethanol subsidies? You’ve authored a page-long non sequitur.

      If the community needs money, they shouldn’t lobby to grow inedible crops (owned by Monsanto, et al) that will ultimately be nothing more than units of production in biofuel factories, feed lots, and food chemical labs.

      The industrial food complex needs farmers to grow corn. Farmers don’t particularly need corn, nor do drivers particularly need ethanol.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I don’t see where I mentioned anything about subsidies. If I implied it, I didn’t mean to. “We” (my father) keep(s) “our” (his) farm running by having a second income (my mother).

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      @lie2me – Stop shilling for the ethanol lobby?…….LOL I have no dog in this fight. I grew up in South Minneapolis not on a farm out in western MN.. I’d personally like to see a full bio fuel alternative offered versus blending.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “.LOL I have no dog in this fight”

        Then why the support counter to the facts?

        “All this nonsense about how ethanol blended fuels absorb moisture in the air and cause problems during storage is just that. Nonsense!”

        Either you have a “dog in this fight” or you don’t care much for science and facts

        Guess what? We really did land on the moon, true story

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          I thought I gave you the facts combined with some science. Ethanol blended fuels do not pull moisture out of the air and fill your tank with water. That was the nonsense I was referring to few posts up. It doesn’t happen, if you think otherwise I can’t change that.

          And please keep your snarky little comments to yourself. I’m not interested or impressed.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “I thought I gave you the facts combined with some science”

            Where? Quoting someone from a boat forum is not facts. How about some links to real scientific studies?

            “I’ve been storing boats for 25 yeas with ethanol fuels.”

            Really, where did you find it, since it really didn’t become readily available until 2005? Prior to that MTBE was added to gasoline which is NOT the same as ethanol

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            Where did you get the idea that MN didn’t have ethanol blended fuels until 2005? 40% of our fuel was ethanol blended back in 1986.
            ———————————————————
            Legislative History
            In 1980, Minnesota passed legislation offering a 4 cent per gallon pump tax credit for 10% ethanol blends.

            By 1986, forty percent of the state’s gasoline was blended with 10% ethanol, but little ethanol was produced in Minnesota. Legislation reduced the pump tax credit to 2 cents and initiated a 20 cent per gallon cash incentive payment for ethanol produced in the state.

            In 1987, legislation provided $100,000 annually for an ethanol promotion program to be administered by the MN Department of Agriculture. The Minnesota Ethanol Commission was established to promote the production and use of ethanol in Minnesota.

            In 1989, the mandatory pump labeling requirement for ethanol blends was discontinued in favor of voluntary labeling that was more consistent with other retail norms.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I wish you would provide links to your “facts” as I do

            “Since 2003, ethanol has grown rapidly as the oxygenating factor for gasoline. Ethanol replaced MTBE for oxygenating fuel

            ETHANOL HISTORY TIMELINE

            The Clean Air Act (1990) and Alternative Motor Fuels Act (1998 & 1992) contain provisions for mandating oxygenated fuel (MTBE). Requirements set for 2 types of clean-burning gasoline, RFG Federal Reformulated Gasoline and Wintertime Oxygenated Fuel.

            1995 The EPA began requiring the use of reformulated gasoline year round in metropolitan areas with the most smog.

            2003 to Present Almost ALL states have followed California’s lead, banning MTBE, (a few states still have lawsuits pending with the EPA for exemption from MTBE ban), resulting in MTBE being replaced by ethanol nationwide.

            2005 The Energy Policy Act of 2005, written by the EPA contains regulations to ensure that gasoline sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel (ethanol is a renewable fuel).

            April 2005 Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP – OMC) is the first marine manufacturer to receive the EPA “Clean Air Excellence Award”, for their newly re-designed outboard engine called the Evinrude ETec, specifically designed to run on E10 ethanol gas.

            >**Almost all marine engines manufactured prior to 2000 prohibit use of alcohol fuel.**<
            See EPA warnings to boat owners and other widespread precautionary statements issued by all major engine manufacturers regarding use of alcohol fuel in a conventional engine.

            2006-Present Many marine and auto engine owners report marine damage and severe engine failure caused by ethanol blend fuels – Investigations reveal gas sold contained over the legal limit of 10% for E10 or was used in an engine not designed for gasahol and all types of alcohol-blends of gas.

            2007-2008 Surge in individual states mandating the use of 10% ethanol E10 gasoline.
            Rapid increase in documented engine problems (drivability, performance, parts damage), and lawsuits related to E10 blends of gasoline."

            http://www.fuel-testers.com/ethanol_fuel_history.html

            "I’ve been storing boats for 25 yeas with ethanol fuels."

            I don't believe you

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            http://www.mda.state.mn.us/renewable/ethanol/about.aspx

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Thank you, but why would you purposely try and damage your boats by using E10 when all boat engine manufacturers clearly state that using it prior to 2000 (and by all accounts well after 2000) was harmful?

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            Both my boats have MerCruiser sterndrives which use GM automotive V8s modified for marine use. If you can provide me with a link where MerCruiser says to not run ethanol blended fuels in any of their sterndrives I’d love to see it. Here is a link where some MerCruiser engineers offer comments on running ethanol in their products.

            http://www.boatingmag.com/there-killer-your-boat

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Great link about the damage ethanol does to boat engines, I’m glad you finally get it. Sure hope you didn’t do to much damage to your boats before you wised up.

            Good luck to you

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      >They’ve all moved farther and farther north into Canada thanks to climate change and other factors, just like corn is doing.)<

      Hi DrZ, you note that corn crops are all moving north into Canada. Would this result in a lower yield? If so, any guess how long before that lower yield is significant? Thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Weeellll…wheat has moved into Canada, but I should have said corn is “expanding,” as in, it’s still around here. Corn won’t be leaving any time soon…probably not in my lifetime.

        Even if corn did move north out of the US to the point where acres farmed decreased, ever-increasing yields would make up for it. There is definitely a limit to bu/ac (especially with how much resources it takes–law of diminishing returns and all that), but we have yet to hit it.

        EDIT: I should also add that the # of acres being farmed is decreasing everywhere thanks to urban sprawl, but with modern techniques even we small farmers are able to do more with less.

    • 0 avatar

      Pch

      You certainly can engineer a car to run on ethanol it’s more a problem that certain internal combustion engines in use today were never designed to be run on ethanol.
      Also the whole are we being efficient argument seems to go against ethanol at least in the US

    • 0 avatar

      Some reading on boats and ethanol
      http://epa.gov/oms/regs/fuels/rfg/waterphs.pdf
      http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/52909.pdf

      On the absorption thing, think about this boats have had fuel water separators long before ethanol. Boat tank systems are not as sophisticated as cars and there are many ways for water to get in this is why Ethanol gets it own lobbying arm from the the NMMA national marine manufactures assoc. Also here in New England if you own a marina with a 5000 gallon gas tank tank do you think that gets filled at the end of the season for the winter? how much water can 100 gallons of gas in a 5000 gallon tank absorb?

      Trust me it’s a problem. 10 years in here in New England many of the problems with E10 have been sorted but E15 is really a threat as non of the marine or equipment manf have built their stuff to handle E15 yet.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “When food cropland is converted to produce fuel crops, the food crops have to be replaced to keep feeding the populace. That means putting new land into agricultural production.”

    Per the USDA, there were about 325 million acres of planted crops in the US during 2013.

    That’s less acreage dedicated to crops than was typical during the 1930s and 1940s, when the US had a fraction of the population. Growing crops is not just a matter of adding acreage. (And if we really want to show our concern for land usage, then we will eat a lot less meat.)

    “Most economists and many environmentalists think the greenhouse reductions would be more effectively accomplished with a carbon tax.”

    Fine, but that’s a political non-starter, so the point is moot.

    “But at best, corn ethanol reduces greenhouse emissions by a measly 20 percent over gasoline…”

    That’s quite a bit. That’s a lot more easily achieved than it is by instructing car buyers to purchase vehicles with considerably higher MPG.

    Ethanol also does a pretty decent job of reducing NOx. (Refer to Table 12 and the summary text on the same page: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/pdfs/sae_e85.pdf)

    “The current battle line in the controversy over the renewable fuel standard is the so-called E10 blend wall.”

    This is the real problem right here. Modern cars in the US are made to run on E10; running them on E15 for the sake of some corn lobbyists is a mechanism to enrich auto mechanics who will have to fix the damage.

    If the US wants to mandate fuel with more than 10% ethanol, then the cars need to be made so that they operate with the stronger stuff. That would require a long delay so that OEMs can install motors that can use it without self-destructing and the old cars that can’t use it are retired to one of Murilee Martin’s favorite theme parks. With the average car in the US being about 11 years old (if I recall correctly), it would probably take 20+ years before we have a large fleet of vehicles that can run reliably on some higher ethanol blend.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’m glad that someone else is willing to fight the good fight in ways that I can’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Ethanol, pickup trucks, the GM bankruptcy and climate change bring out the stupid among the commentariat on this website. I have no particular love for ethanol, but the disinformation in the comment threads is consistently ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “Modern cars in the US are made to run on E10”

      But it’s hell on just about every other motor out there

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The solution is to make cars that can run on it, not to indulge in handwringing.

        There is no technological challenge. The OEM’s can already easily make cars that can run on E85, they just don’t usually bother because there is no reason to do so (except to earn CAFE credits.) Mandate the vehicles now, but don’t mandate the fuel until we have cars that can use it.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I have a flexfuel car and although it runs ok on E85 it gets terrible mileage which costs me more money, no thanks

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Ultimately, that’s a pricing problem — E85 should cost less than it does. Yes, ethanol has less energy density, so there are fewer MPGs, but that doesn’t mean that it is “bad.”

    • 0 avatar

      Pch,

      I generally find your comments to be unusually thoughtful, and valuable. In this case, I must take issue with some of them:

      On the point about less acreage in cropland, it doesn’t matter. Any natural or semi-natural land that gets put into agricultural production is going to release an enormous amount of greenhouse gases. Doesn’t matter if it’s former agricultural land; it’s still going to release plenty of CO2. It’s also quite possible that the land that would go into production to keep the food crops coming would be in some third world country where ag practices are not nearly as land-efficient as they are here.

      Regarding carbon tax being moot: you may well be right, but the politics can change, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it does within the next few years.

      Regarding your contention that 20% is substantial: if you factor in the ecosystem services from natural and semi-natural land that are lost when its converted to ag land, it probably is not enough to make it worth it.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3339477/

      re your point about meat: well taken

      Love the line about cars retired to one of MM’s favorite theme parks

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        +1 I don’t know why Pch101 chooses to defend this position when most of the time his opinions are balanced and sensible

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Any natural or semi-natural land that gets put into agricultural production is going to release an enormous amount of greenhouse gases.”

        That’s true. But I hope that you’re not trying to make an argument against eating.

        Yes, farming releases carbon into the atmosphere. But so does burning petroleum motor fuel. And the reality is that a car running on E0 will emit more C02 per mile/km than a car running on E85.

        Add to this that oil is inherently energy negative whereas ethanol is somewhat energy positive (in the sense that some of the BTUs that go into producing ethanol, such as sunlight, don’t really count), plus ethanol produces less NOx output per mile/km.

        We will never have zero GHG emissions, nor do we need to have zero emissions. The question is one of reduction, not elimination. You are effectively applying a double standard to ethanol by knocking it for an alleged deficiency when the alternative is worse.

        • 0 avatar

          I think that any ethanol that’s grown on land that is–or causes other land to be–converted from wild/semi-wild to ag land with more than a 15 year debt (which rules out just about anything most everywhere–IS worse.

          And I suspect that it’s worse not just from a carbon dioxide point of view, but from an ecosystem services point of view, and that if you read my article on that subject (the link I provided) you’ll understand.

          feel free, if you want to discuss it directly instead of on TTAC, to email me: david at NASW.org

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      “Fine, but (carbon tax is) a political non-starter, so the point is moot. ”

      Only in the United States of America. Many other countries are more pragmatic and willing to consider such options.

      “This is the real problem right here. Modern cars in the US are made to run on E10; running them on E15 for the sake of some corn lobbyists is a mechanism to enrich auto mechanics who will have to fix the damage.”

      Me, I choose gas stations that sell E0 premium fuel. Of course everyone else is free to make their own choices and enrich the subsidy recipients.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Too bad it isn’t actual corn-squeezin’. I could get behind moonshine before I could get behind ethanol.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      What’s the chemical makeup of pure moonshine?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Pure moonshine is 100% distilled alcohol. Drinkable moonshine is 60% water, 40% distilled alcohol.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Lightweight. It’s all drinkable. :P

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Ethanol can only get to 95% or so via distillation. Beyond that gets into really expensive equipment. You can drink Everclear straight if you really want to, but you have to really want to.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I couldn’t get it through my throat. My throat clamped shut. It is an involuntary reaction to warm, freshly distilled pure alcohol out of the condenser.

            And it tastes awful!!!

            Twice-distilled ups the % but it is still not drinkable unless you age it in a charred-oak barrel for 12 years or more.

            But who in hell wants to wait that long?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I asked my papy why he called his brew “white lightin\'” ‘stead of “mountain dew”. I took a little sip and right away I knew, cause my eyes bugged out and my face turned blue…

  • avatar
    TW5

    The biggest problem with ethanol is not necessarily the fuel itself, but the way we use it. If we wanted to squander most of the useful characteristics of ethanol, we’d blend it with gasoline. Naturally, that’s what we’ve chosen to do.

    If ethanol is injected directly into the combustion chamber of a gasoline-powered engine, the engine can handle much higher pressure without knock.

  • avatar
    jdogma

    Yes this ethanol thing is another example of our government abusing us, but it is the only instance I can think of where the enthusiast benefits. E85 is the cheapest race fuel ever! It is great for turbo engines!

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Trying to pass corn off as food is the biggest scam of all.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Slightly On Topic

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/e1abab3c2b/god-made-a-factory-farmer

  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    Wow, for once all of us are on the same page regarding ethanol.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with ethanol had we had a competitive market for it and traded with Brazil and other countries. I already know these corn subsidies are bullshit since I’m drinking Coke at the moment flavored with HFCS.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Let’s not forget the whole corn ethanol scam stemmed from two other Extraordinary Popular Delusions: that by now we’d experience Peak Oil with soaring oil prices and widespread shortages; and that CO2 is Destroying the Planet. And while we’re talking about economic boondoggles, there’s Wind Energy with all its subsidies, consuming more energy than it produces.

    Ad hominem rejoinder from PCH101 in four…three…two…

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’d like to see some scholarly sources to back up your points.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Wind energy is not very efficient, see Betz’s law

        “Even though the cost of wind power has decreased dramatically in the past 10 years, the technology requires a higher initial investment than fossil-fueled generators. Roughly 80% of the cost is the machinery, with the balance being site preparation and installation.”

        “The major challenge to using wind as a source of power is that it is intermittent and does not always blow when electricity is needed. Wind cannot be stored (although wind-generated electricity can be stored, if batteries are used), and not all winds can be harnessed to meet the timing of electricity demands. Further, good wind sites are often located in remote locations far from areas of electric power demand (such as cities). Finally, wind resource development may compete with other uses for the land, and those alternative uses may be more highly valued than electricity generation.”

        http://windeis.anl.gov/guide/basics/

        • 0 avatar
          an innocent man

          >it is intermittent and does not always blow<

          We should repurpose the old Strategic "Air" Command. Whenever there's no wind and we need electric, we could alert-launch a bunch of Chinooks to hang out near the Windmill Farms. It's wind-wind.

        • 0 avatar

          Denmark stores excess wind power by pumping water to heights in Norway. A large enough grid can be managed to accommodate the visicitudes (sorry, I don’t have chapter and verse easily available on that).

          Wind turbines have been sprouting in small numbers along the Massachusetts coast, and I expect we’ll gain substantial numbers over the next decade.

          There are also multiple experiments going on in large-scale battery storage, which I suspect will bear more fruit sooner than EV batteries. (fewer major constraints.)

      • 0 avatar
        DukeMantee

        If man made gorebal worming is real,can we reduce greenhouse gas to zero?
        Can we start by reducing greenhouse gas in your area first?
        How long would you live without greenhouse gas?
        Does greenhouse gas come in a variety of flavors?
        Does greenhouse gas come in a selection of octanes?
        If we eliminate greenhouse gas,will you run the world on rainbows and unicorn farts?

        Ponder these questions and reflect upon the the fact that political scientists like James Hanson,Michael Mann and Brian Williams are guiding the elected rent seekers who run this country.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Scholarship and climate change denial don’t go well together.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      >that by now we’d experience Peak Oil with soaring oil prices and widespread shortages;<

      Sadly, I think Peak Cronyism is a myth, too.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I love this post and the interesting comments that followed, so I feel compelled to opine.

    It was noted above that th B&B comment with misinformation. I would be interested in what misinformation is being referred to. My wife’s family has a massive farming operation in western WA state. It is massive in acreage but not in production due to the fact the family has been participating in farmer welfare for decades in the form of CRP, which is a government program where you are paid to not farm. Farmer welfare spans both sides of the political isle and I firmly believe the corn ethanol argument is just another form of said farmer welfare. How about we let the market decide if ethanol is needed, wanted, or valuable as a fuel resource. If so, then economics will lead the way to production matching demand.

    It is politically fun to talk about all the freeloaders collecting food stamps so they don’t have to work. If one were to add up those dollars and compare them to the farm subsidies to either grow or not grow a crop or crops it would not be hard to determine who gets the better end of the deal. I for one prefer that some poor kid gets fed, acknowledging the fact there are those who are defrauding the system and collecting food stamps when they could go to work, then the idea of paying a bunch of conglomerates tax payer dollars to either produce or not produce.

    Further, the amount of fraud that goes on with the small ‘hobby’ farmer as well as the large family farm to collect subsidies is appalling. Fortunately, the family that I married into, recognized the fraud being perpetrated by the prodigal son who ‘ran’ the family farm and took steps to stop it. Mainly by selling the acreage which is in process, meanwhile junior worked the farm for 25 years collecting nice pay checks and playing a lot of golf.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Thank you for this, I am quite familiar with these same “welfare farmers” in my own rural farming community. I know what they are subsidized to grow or not grow certain crops and most here would be shocked at the payouts. Years ago they used to farm a variety of crops, but now they only farm corn. I’ll give you one guess why

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Excellent post 87.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Lets also add the tax breaks farmers get.

      One of the biggest tax scams in east Texas:

      Step one: Buy massive acreage in the “Big Piney Woods” region

      Step two: Plant Christmas trees and declare yourself a “farm”

      Step three: collect massive tax breaks for being a farmer while doing next to nothing

      Step four: Let people onto your property once every five years to cut Christmas trees – no work involved

      Step five: replant any trees cut down

      Step six: profit, and big tax breaks

      Step seven: go to step three

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        This is a pervasive myth, believe it or not. I’ve heard several people float the old “Xmas tree farm tax dodge” and it’s simply not true.

        If you review the IRS rules (which are available online and free), they (meaning the IRS) have the power to declare your “for-profit” business a “hobby” and rescind any tax benefit. You must demonstrate to the IRS that your concern is a for-profit business in order to lawfully receive tax benefits. Additionally, whether or not you prove yourself – the IRS reserves the right to re-classify a business that has failed to make a profit for 3 or more consecutive years as a hobby, meaning loss of any tax benefit.

        Misinformation that appeals to our fears is everywhere.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Ethanol costs around the mid-80s a barrel to produce, so it is close to $35 to $40 a barrel more expensive than oil. E10 reduces MPG around 7% to 10% depending on the vehicle, and for those who don’t drive much, breaks down faster into fuel system damaging compounds (this is why the Volt will burn what is in the tank over a month even if you never drive on gasoline power).

    It raises the price of fertilizers and animal feed, which contributes to non-CPI inflation across the board. There is ZERO economic or environmental reasons to support ethanol production, beyond the corporate welfare it represents for mostly factory farms and Fortune 500 companies.

    Of course the lobby wants to keep this going, and with the United States moving as the country that dictates production and prices for crude and refined oil products, they can see there is blood in the water. Not to mention the backing off from the Administration on “clean coal” projects, with which as much natural gas we’re flaring off these days is equally pointless, they can see the hand writing on the wall.

    So what’s a good lobbyist too do? With falling interest from both parties, and an increasing eye against all welfare including corporate from the more conservative party, of course their going to grease palms and hedge their bets.

    Ending ethanol subsidies and mandated E10 would reduce the price at the pump, would actually help solve the excess capacity issue with oil, lower the costs on non-CPI inflation goods including cereal, breads, items based heavily on corn sweeteners, all crops, and meat products.

    Really the only people that lose are big corporate farm operations and large ethanol producers. The savings passed down to other farm operations would pick up the slack in the jobs, not to mention increased consumer spending from more free capital in each wallet.

    It’s a no brainer – I just wish the corporatism had the balls to say, “yup, we’re ending this.”

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