Friday, December 10, 2010

Green Energy: Starving People to Feed Cars

Reverend Al Gore, Church of Global Warming, is scaling back the flim flam operation.
"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol," said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.

"First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

"It's hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going." (Reuters)
He even admitting what I’ve been saying all along, that this wasteful government ethanol subsidy program is also immoral: It starves people to feed cars…
Gore said a range of factors had contributed to that food price crisis, including drought in Australia, but said there was no doubt biofuels have an effect.

"The size, the percentage of corn particularly, which is now being (used for) first generation ethanol definitely has an impact on food prices.

"The competition with food prices is real." (Reuters)
So, can these wasteful, immoral subsidies be ended?

Dennis Byrne is skeptical...

the EPA issued its so-called E15 rule, which raised to 15 percent the allowable blend of ethanol for cars and certain trucks built since 2007. In that, the EPA ignored studies pointing to the harmful effects that 50 percent increase will have on cars, including the agency's own conclusion that it would damage the catalytic converters of tens of millions of cars now on the road.

Wait, that's only the start. The ethanol industry also receives a tax credit amounting to 45 cents a gallon and is aided by a tariff on sugar-cane ethanol valued at 54 cents. In addition, the 2007 energy act mandates the use of renewable fuels, including ethanol: 10.5 billion gallons in 2009, 14 billion in 2011 and 36 billion by 2022.

This is extraordinary. And insane. Here, the government creates a fake market for ethanol, then subsidizes the market, and then protects the market against foreign competition. (RCP – Dennis Byrne)
Ed Morrissey reports that a bipartisan group of senators has signed a letter calling for the end of subsidies that prop up this rotten program. He and other also note pessimistically that there is also broad bipartisan support

It’s only a few billion, critics cry, just as some on the right throw rocks at the president’s pay raise freeze for federal workers. But as Everett Dirkson was purported to have said, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money.”

Other Links:
American Spectator – Gores Admission
Denver Post – Tide Ebbing For Ethanol?


Rob said...

This sorta bleeds over into other areas as well - farmers have become adept at growing nothing but corn and are scraping in a meager (or almost) living wage mostly due to government subsidies for growing said. So, the technologies & techniques developed for growing ethanol corn are readily applied to another cash crop, corn for consumption.

Thing is, cattle were NEVER intended to eat corn at all, much less that be their primary food source. And people too, were not built to consume corn in such vast quantities (and it IS in everything!!). So, we pay outrageous penalties for cramming such (on the surface) cheap food down every possible gullet. In the end, corn is anything but cheap, but we're blind to the after-the-fact costs.

America needs to get off the friggin' corn wagon!

Trestin said...

I'm surprised to hear him admit this.

OD357 said...

Don't forget that Mexican Agave farmers are switching to corn. Driving up the cost of Tequila.

Not to mention it plays havoc on my 4 wheeler carburetor seals.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

All of this is starvation by design. Just another way to control food and how much of it we are allowed to eat.

Finntann said...


My new car is a flexfuel vehicle and I ran E-85 this past summer, more as a techno-geek experiment than anything else.

My car, requires premium unleaded (93 Octane) which is currently $2.87/gal and gets an average of 26 MPG on it.

E85 (105 Octane) is currently running $2.39 a gallon and my car averages 18 MPG on it. So you can see, while E85 is roughly 17% cheaper than premium, the mileage is roughly 30% lower, so there is no savings, it actually costs more to run E85.

According to the calculator I use, E85 is getting me 7.5 miles/dollar and Gasoline 9 miles/dollar. Of course running E85 would save 602 gallons of gas a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,222lbs (not the major point in my little experiment, but while I may not be a Global Warming Theory adherent, cleaner is better).

I'm somewhat of an unusual case study living >9000ft with extreme winter temperature swings, but with the decreased volatility of ethanol, I had difficulty starting the vehicle when the temperatures started to dip below freezing. One 20 degree morning it took about 5 minutes to start it, and another 5 minutes before it would stop stalling when I put it in drive.
Note that this may have been before the station switched to winter blend E85...which according to the sticker on the pump now is actually guaranteed to be at least E57.

The food/fuel argument is a socialist red herring... if America can produce enough food for its population, and enough corn to run its cars, it's moot. Unless of course you believe we are responsible for feeding the rest of the world's population. If you want to go down that road, I expect you to stop drinking immoral beer... after all that grain could be used to feed people.

As Sam Kinison used to scream about world hunger: You live in a %#$@'ing Desert...nothing ever grew here nothing ever will!!!

World hunger is not caused by low production of food, it's caused by overpopulation in non-agricultural areas. It is not cost effective to produce wheat & corn in Kansas and ship it 6500 miles to sub Saharan Africa, and is unlikely to become so any time soon.

I'm a true libertarian...if I want to drive a filet mignon fired steam engine to work, its none of your business so long as I'm not stealing the cows.

I'll get off my soapbox now ;)

Finntann said...

Although I better point out that I do not support government subsidies of Ethanol production, any more than government subsidies of any product in a free market.


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