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The Problem with Ethanol is the Mandate [Sounds Familiar.]
ATR ^ | 2011-06-15 | Christopher Prandoni

Posted on 06/16/2011 9:23:52 AM PDT by 92nina

After a decade of experimenting with mandates, tax credits and tariffs, a national consensus has been reached that ethanol is just not worth it. Late to arrive at this conclusion are farmers, their Congressional representatives, and presidential candidates eager to win over primary voters—a coalition that has made it nearly impossible to begin unwinding the various policies designed to prop-up ethanol.

The driving force behind U.S. ethanol consumption is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), otherwise known as the ethanol mandate, which was established with the enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.The RFS mandated that a minimum of 4 billion gallons of renewable fuels be used in 2006 and that Americans consume at least 7.5 billion gallons by 2012. Two years later, in the midst of the 2008 campaign cycle, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 greatly expanding the RFS mandate. Americans now must consume 36 billion gallons of “renewable fuels” annually by 2022—15 billion gallons of which will be corn ethanol.

This is bad for American consumers. Implicit in the ethanol mandate is the reality that without such a policy, Americans would not use nearly as much ethanol—and for good reason. During most of the past 30 years, ethanol has been more expensive than regular gasoline. Furthermore, ethanol contains one-third less energy than gasoline. This means that if you put one gallon of gasoline in your car and one gallon of ethanol in your friend’s identical model, you’ll go 15 percent farther than your friend. Responding to an increase in the RFS mandate, some automakers are even installing larger gas tanks in vehicles...

Read more: http://www.atr.org/problem-ethanol-mandate-a6244#ixzz1PSK5Uz3Y

(Excerpt) Read more at atr.org ...


TOPICS: Agriculture; Business/Economy; Government; Reference
KEYWORDS: congress; energy; ethanol; govtabuse; taxes
Ethanol gets a refundable tax credit, a tariff, and a mandate. What does the rest of the country get? Politicians making the first stop in Iowa looking to impress.

Take this article and others I found to the fight to the Libs on their own turf; put the Left on the defensive at at Digg and at Reddit and in Delicious and Stumbleupon

1 posted on 06/16/2011 9:23:59 AM PDT by 92nina
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To: 92nina

That is part of the problem. If the subsidy disappears the mandate remains. We need to kill both.

It’s time for added-value ag to move beyond ethanol. We aren’t going to do that till we stop institutionalizing ethanol within the system.


2 posted on 06/16/2011 9:36:05 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: Free Vulcan
That is part of the problem. If the subsidy disappears the mandate remains. We need to kill both.

If any congressional program is viable without subsidies funding it should cease. That's why NPR and abortion funding should cease. Both are extremely profitable.

The Budget Axe should come out with a big swing!

3 posted on 06/16/2011 9:40:30 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: 92nina

Check this guy’s blog out - he brakes a lot of this out:
http://stopethanol.wordpress.com/2010/09/

I had no idea the distributors blending ethanol into gas get $0.45/gal to do it!

And if you are wondering why it’s harder to get ethanol-free fuel...it’s because of the mandates. If the distributors don’t ethanol-mix to their required quota they have to pay the government to pump non-ethanol.(Cap&Trade/PaytoPlay/PaytoPump)


4 posted on 06/16/2011 9:41:50 AM PDT by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: 92nina

put the Left on the defensive
/// i applaud your effort! but there are plenty of idiots on the right on ethanol.

ethanol is insane on sooo many levels.
leftys say it fights global warming
(when CO2 doesn’t cause it, and the world has been getting COLDER since 2003, as it enters another Maunder Minimum.)

rightys say ethanol reduces our foreign dependence.
but, in the entire (Pop Deming) process,
it takes MORE btus to make a gallon of ethanol, than it contains!
so, NET,
it INCREASES our foreign dependence,
and INCREASES the price of oil.

...and costs taxpayers over 6 billion a year, on top!

if we can’t even get this insanity killed, then i have lost all hope...


5 posted on 06/16/2011 9:43:40 AM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: 92nina

Other renewables get the same treatment, some states have had biodiesel and renewable energy (wind/solar) mandates for years. Subsidies for various energy forms is summarized here:

http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2008/07/30/energy-subsidies-study/

In fact the latest stupidity is to use corn oil to make biodiesel, since soy oil is no cost-effective and existing plants (of which half are idle) are set up to process oil feedstocks, not cellulosic. That will drive up the price of corn for food, just as it did like biodiesel makers did when they created a market for yellow grease (used restaurant oil).

Get the gummint out of the picture completely and the market will determine if and to what extent renewables play, and the demand will be set by market forces, not a gummint mandate passed by a bunch of meddling fools.


6 posted on 06/16/2011 9:48:33 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: Free Vulcan

Agreed, and ethanol is only cheaper at the moment because gasoline is so expensive.


7 posted on 06/16/2011 10:10:33 AM PDT by 92nina
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To: 92nina

Ethanol of course depends on the cost of corn and natural gas. It is generally but not always cheaper than gas, right now by a fair amount.

There’s the subsidy and mandate problem for sure. It is less BTU’s but is priced cheaper to compensate. It destroys older engines but that will disappear in time. Those are a big deal, but my biggest problem is what it does for the farm sector.

Yes, it does raise the price of corn. There’s a limit there though, too expensive and it’s no longer profitable to make ethanol because it costs more than the price of gas with less BTU’s. That ties corn price to the price of gas which is highly variable and unpredictable. Not what a farmer wants.

But say gas prices are high enough not to be affected at that time by high corn prices. The problem is the farmer burns gas and diesel to grow and harvest corn. Yeah corn prices are good, but input costs are high, profit margins crap.

What’s the gain for the farmer? Not much in the long run. There is more in grain besides fermentable carbs, there’s protein, oil, and various other valuable substances. The excessive focus on ethanol, propped up by the govt, is crowding out these other opportunities from seeing the light of day. Opportunities that don’t suffer from a love-hate relationship with gasoline.

The ethanol thing is near the end of the road and there’s no future in it because the demand for corn is outstripping supply as ethanol use rises. We need to diversify to decouple from the delicate dance the ethanol industry, and thereby farmers, have to constantly do. Farmers will be better off, we’ll be better off.


8 posted on 06/16/2011 10:29:26 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: Elendur
You left out the reduced efficiency of ethanol compared to raw gasoline as well as its deleterious effects on engines, especially small engines.
9 posted on 06/16/2011 10:50:03 AM PDT by Roccus
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To: 92nina

Imagine that, hard working farmers catch a break while government workers continue to outpace the rest of the nation in pay and benefits, progressive parasites receive welfare funding of every type, and unions get their retirement paid. It is beyond me to understand how freepers will attack working farmers for catching a tax break while 44 million progs get food stamps, and 48% of progs pay no federal income tax. Keep in mind, the liberals hate giving any tax breaks to farmers too.


10 posted on 06/16/2011 10:58:51 AM PDT by Neoliberalnot ((Read "The Grey Book" for an alternative to corruption in DC))
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To: Roccus

You left out the reduced efficiency of ethanol compared to raw gasoline as well as its deleterious effects on engines, especially small engines.
/// actually, the reduced efficiency is included here:

MORE btus to make a gallon of ethanol, than it contains!

...but, you said it much more clearly. (probably i should look up the exact ratio. it’s shocking, like 1/3 less)
and, i did leave off the engine damage.
(which nation-wide, must be a HUGE cost. ...yet another serious unintended consequence of this insane program.)


11 posted on 06/16/2011 11:40:21 AM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: 92nina

Ethanol should be burned in the body.


12 posted on 06/16/2011 11:40:33 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Neoliberalnot

freepers will attack working farmers
///
???
i have NEVER seen a freeper attack a working farmer.

only for getting paid for NOT growing, or for ethanol which is utterly insane for many many reasons.

there is a GLOBAL food shortage. making inefficient “gas-lite” while people stave, is pretty close to evil.
especially when it doesn’t accomplish ANY of the stated goals for it, from EITHER side.

right now, Farmers do quite well in a free market.
(and likely to continue, as the world continues to get colder for the next 20-30 years)

but, if food prices fall, i’d MUCH prefer to give direct subsidies to farmers, than for any of the current idiotic programs the Founding Fathers somehow missed...


13 posted on 06/16/2011 11:47:17 AM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: Elendur

When you said “it takes MORE btus to make a gallon of ethanol, than it contains!” I thought you were talking about the entire process of making the additive rather than the effeciency of the final product.


14 posted on 06/16/2011 11:54:25 AM PDT by Roccus
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To: Roccus

The problem with ethanol is....

You don’t burn your food.

And, it tastes so much better if you drink it. The aftereffects aren’t bad either. If you don’t drink too much.


15 posted on 06/16/2011 12:04:31 PM PDT by saleman (!!!!)
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To: Roccus

i agree i wasn’t clear at all. and, since i might not have known, i greatly appreciate you mentioning it. i learn a LOT from others like you, here on FR.

(some don’t like repetition. but, often the experts know them, but the average reader even here, doesn’t. i never complain because i’ve seen something before. because i know someone else, might be seeing it for the first time...)

...but, i was trying (unsucessfully i admit) to be concise. i’ll probably steal your word in the future. especially so i can use the word “deleterious”.


16 posted on 06/16/2011 12:04:47 PM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: saleman

You don’t burn your food.

And, it tastes so much better if you drink it.
///
brilliant !!!!!!!!
you just pointed out the worst unintended consequence of all, to mandated ethanol...

it raises the price of corn liquor !


17 posted on 06/16/2011 12:06:58 PM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: Elendur
Too bad I can't spell "efficiency" without spellcheck. };^)
18 posted on 06/16/2011 12:11:39 PM PDT by Roccus
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To: Elendur

I carry a fifth of ethanol in the trunk of my car. Just in case..


19 posted on 06/16/2011 12:37:54 PM PDT by saleman (!!!!)
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To: Elendur

So you are suggesting that farmers should not be free to sell their products in whatever manner they wish? Are you suggesting that you or the government should take the fruits of the farmers labor and do as you please? If so, you are no freeper. Grain has been turned into EtOH since before agriculture came into existence. What do you know about farming?


20 posted on 06/16/2011 12:58:56 PM PDT by Neoliberalnot ((Read "The Grey Book" for an alternative to corruption in DC))
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To: Neoliberalnot; All

So you are suggesting that farmers should not be free to sell their products in whatever manner they wish? Are you suggesting that you or the government should take the fruits of the farmers labor and do as you please? If so, you are no freeper. Grain has been turned into EtOH since before agriculture came into existence. What do you know about farming?
///
???????????
i think you are drinking that ethanol.

i am on YOUR side, if you are a farmer !

my post #13 CLEARLY shows i strongly support farmers, AND their right to do ANYTHING they want with their own crops, and to sell they OWN labor, to ANYONE they wish, including whiskey makers !!!

i am a proud free-market capitalist, like Milton Friedman.

you call me “no freeper” because i simply don’t support a 6 BILLION dollar incentive for ethanol that is provably bad for our country in every way ?

and then accuse me of being no farmer? would you like the see the barn behind my house?
and do i have to be a woman to speak out against abortion?
(i thought only liberals defined such limits, and made straw man arguments. not freepers.)

YOU sir, put words in my mouth i did not say. you accuse me of not being a freeper because i dislike GOVERNMENT subsidies.

do you call ALL people here “not freepers” when they are against subsidies in other areas? or is only ethanol sacred?

and, in fact, while i HATE big government subsidies, i actually made an EXCEPTION in #13 for farmers, saying i would even support a DIRECT subsidy FOR FARMERS, so they could do their vital work of feeding the world.

...it is only the 6 BILLION dollar mandated ethanol subsidy, i have opposed here.


21 posted on 06/16/2011 1:15:58 PM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: Elendur

Clearly I struck a nerve. I have no problem doing away with all subsidies and government checks, but to selectively attack farmers for an EtOH subsidy is unfair. My point is, why not attack the freeloaders with the same vigor. Why not get rid of SS, Medicare, Medicaid, and the rest. Actually, I favor a 25% cut across the board. Tell me of a business with more than 2 dozen workers that does not receive some type of government incentive?

For the record, ETOH does provide about a 20% energy gain plus a high protein feed for cattle—this is the part always ignored by EtOH opponents and the oil industry. Show me why turning solar energy into portable fuel at 400 gallons/acre is so bad. And just so I can ascertain your level of farming knowledge—about how much diesel fuel does it take to plant one acre of corn? I am acquainted with a very well-known agriculture economist you should talk to.


22 posted on 06/16/2011 1:37:15 PM PDT by Neoliberalnot ((Read "The Grey Book" for an alternative to corruption in DC))
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