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(WI) Senators Split on Ethanol Bill; DNR Warns of Ozone Effect
All Headline News for WI ^ | February 5, 2006 | Anita Weier

Posted on 02/06/2006 12:49:23 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin

Ethanol has become a hot topic in the State Capitol, with legislators arguing about a proposal to require about 10 percent ethanol in regular-grade gasoline.

The Assembly approved the bill, AB15, on a 54-38 vote in December. The Senate has yet to vote on the bill and members are sharply divided.

The bill was approved by the Assembly despite a September report from the Department of Natural Resources that mandating ethanol in gasoline would worsen the state's ozone problem.

The DNR said that requiring 10 percent ethanol in the most-used grade of gasoline would pollute the air as much as a 350-megawatt coal-fired power plant and would likely result in more counties being identified in ozone health advisories.

Such a mandate would lead to higher volatile organic compound emissions and nitrogen oxide emissions, which form polluting ozone, according to the study. Oxides of nitrogen emissions, known as NOx, would then increase up 1 to 2 percent, or up to 13 tons on an average summer day, the study said.

To offset the increased pollution, the state would have to place a higher regulatory burden on utility and industrial companies, Al Shea, administrator of the DNR's division of air and waste, said in a written statement when the report was issued.

The bill consequently pits rural Wisconsin, where farmers hope to sell corn for ethanol production, against urban Wisconsin, where manufacturers fear that new regulations will fall on them and jobs might be lost as a result.

"We don't need new regulations on businesses, we need to stop the ethanol mandate," said Scott Manley, director of environmental policy at Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. "This proposal will create more problems than it solves."

Those supporting the bill question the DNR study and point to favorable studies about the potential of ethanol. Supporters stress the economic benefits of ethanol, which they say could increase a corn farmer's income by $10 an acre, add good jobs and millions of dollars to the state's economy, and reduce dependence on imported oil.

"Farmers are on the front lines to provide energy for a better America and a more secure Wisconsin," said Paul Zimmerman of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau during a recent Capitol press conference where the Midwest was touted as "our Saudi Arabia."

Supporters also cite President Bush's State of the Union address, in which he called for cutting edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but also from wood chips, stalks and switchgrass. They also note that Gov. Jim Doyle called in his State of the State speech for the Legislature to send the ethanol bill to his desk so he could sign it into law.

Support for the bill has grown recently, as several environmental organizations shifted their support to the Wisconsin Ethanol Coalition. Clean Wisconsin and the Sierra Club praised bill author Stephen Freese, R-Dodgeville, for working cooperatively to strengthen air quality protections in the bill.

"We could not support AB 15 unless safeguards were built into this legislation," said Katie Nekola of Clean Wisconsin.

An amendment to the bill by the Senate Agriculture and Insurance Committee on Jan. 31 would allow the Department of Commerce to suspend the 10 percent mandate if the DNR finds that the use of ethanol is causing or contributing to violations of federal air quality standards.

"We are now confident that with the Clean Air Protection amendment and delaying the start-up date for E10 by a year (to October 2007) that the state has the opportunity to require offsets for any increase in ozone precursors, such as NOx and VOCs, and visibility impairments," said Caryl Terrell, chapter director of Sierra Club-Wisconsin. "We urge the Senate to adopt the Clean Air Protection Amendment."

The amendment also would allow other types of materials - including woody waste, switchgrass and weeds - to be used to produce ethanol.

But Rep. Neal Kedzie, R-Elkhorn, who voted against the bill in the Senate committee, is not sure whether the bill would be approved by the full Senate. Republicans are quite divided on the issue, he said, and so are Democrats. "There is no definitive study on this issue. The science is still evolving," he said. "We should not rush to judgment. Good public policy takes time."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: ecoping; energy
This one has my head spinning! I HATE to side with the Clean Wisconsin (formerly The Environmental Decade) and Sierra Club enviro-wackos, and I have my own personal issues with our DNR, BUT they're the ones that may have the clout to possibly end this, so we won't have ethanol foisted upon us in an area where the free market should decide.
1 posted on 02/06/2006 12:49:25 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
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To: GreenFreeper

FYI. Any other states currently wrestling with this issue?


2 posted on 02/06/2006 12:50:12 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
Here's something else to make your head spin: Citgo (Yes, Hugo Chavez's Venezuelan State Oil Company) is the leading supplier of E85 in Michigan.
3 posted on 02/06/2006 1:00:20 PM PST by Yo-Yo
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
"There is no definitive study on this issue. The science is still evolving," he said. "We should not rush to judgment. Good public policy takes time."

You're right. An economic mandate isn't a free-market principle....and while their might be a situation where this could (very small could) be in our interest e.g a structural change due to impending large scale war.

I would say give it time; because I think the free-market will start having cheap enough ethanol to make it more marketable to our petro-rich market within time.

4 posted on 02/06/2006 1:01:16 PM PST by Rick_Michael
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

The 1990 Clean Air Act requires Ethanol blends in the winter time. Now we are being told it is more polluting? I am getting confused.


5 posted on 02/06/2006 1:03:00 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

This is where we trade 2 gallons of fuel for 1 right?


6 posted on 02/06/2006 1:06:46 PM PST by Steveone (Liberalism is a brain tumor!)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin; blam; Carry_Okie; Chanticleer; ClearCase_guy; cogitator; CollegeRepublican; ...
ECO-PING

FReepmail me to be added or removed to the ECO-PING list!

Such a mandate would lead to higher volatile organic compound emissions and nitrogen oxide emissions, which form polluting ozone, according to the study. Oxides of nitrogen emissions, known as NOx, would then increase up 1 to 2 percent, or up to 13 tons on an average summer day, the study said.

That really isn't much in the big picture. They really need to decide what the ultimate goal is. Reduce pollution or move to alternative fuels? IN the future both might be achievable.

7 posted on 02/06/2006 1:12:37 PM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Steveone

Yes, the fuel efficiency drops with ethanol added, too. But I heard some guy on the radio say, "well, you lose more efficiency by not having your tires inflated properly..." as he grasped at straws while trying to justify the loss of fuel efficiency.

So, if I have my tires properly inflated, then I STILL lose gas mileage? Well, sign me up, LOL!


9 posted on 02/06/2006 1:23:16 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

There is some MAJOR junk science floating around --- and who is telling the truth?

The use of ethanol has been touted for decades as a cleaner alternative (supposedly MUCH cleaner) for a fuel source. And although it yields slightly lower total energy per unit as compared to gasoline, it's been sold to consumers and the government as one part of the answer to our oil dependency and to pollution. In fact, ethanol is a key ingredient REQUIRED in many of the smoggy metropolitan areas fuel supplies.

And now, just as further regulations are being debated to increase ethanol use and production - teh same moonbats now tell us that it will CAUSE more smog....

Somebody (or several somebodies) are lying.


10 posted on 02/06/2006 1:26:30 PM PST by TheBattman (Islam (and liberalism)- the cult of Satan and a Cancer on Society)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
"FYI. Any other states currently wrestling with this issue? "
The person manfully wrestling with ethanol at the federal level [ethanol usually wins] is Senator Ted Kennedy.
11 posted on 02/06/2006 1:33:00 PM PST by GSlob
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To: Steveone
This is where we trade 2 gallons of fuel for 1 right?

If you are referring to Ethanl - that old figure is nothing like the current reality. And with improvements in production, the overall ballance is in the positive.

12 posted on 02/06/2006 1:33:19 PM PST by TheBattman (Islam (and liberalism)- the cult of Satan and a Cancer on Society)
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To: TheBattman

That is good news thank you !


13 posted on 02/06/2006 1:35:28 PM PST by Steveone (Liberalism is a brain tumor!)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
I guess no one pointed out ethanol has only 64% the BTUs of gasoline as one possible reason!
14 posted on 02/06/2006 1:38:41 PM PST by Steveone (Liberalism is a brain tumor!)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

I thought ethanol mandates were about using the ethanol production as a means of subsidizing farmers with another excuse to produce.


15 posted on 02/06/2006 1:44:07 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: Steveone

People us the lower efficiency of ethanol as an argument against gasoline, however I don't see it that way. Someday, (and in Brazil) it is cheaper to buy ethanol than gasoline. If the overall cost/mile is approximately the same, I would chose ethanol 100 times over choosing gasoline, because I know my dollars are staying domestically vs. going to someone who wants me extinct. It has been proven that polution in metropolitan areas in S. America has dropped since switching to ethanol. Agreed that it's not a perfect fuel, but at least it's a step in the right direction.


16 posted on 02/06/2006 1:47:16 PM PST by Maringa
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To: Maringa

oops..."People us the lower efficiency of ethanol as an argument against gasoline"

Should say "People us the lower efficiency of ethanol as an argument against the use of ethanol..."


17 posted on 02/06/2006 1:48:30 PM PST by Maringa
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
you stated: "so we won't have ethanol foisted upon us in an area where the free market should decide."

do you realize you directly contradicted yourself?

The DNR wants to stop the promotion and use of ethanol!

How in God's Name can the free market decide when the DNR puts the deep six on it????

Normally I read what you have to say with interest, since you seemed well reasoned, but I think (unless I completely misunderstand what you said) that you have Dain Bramage of the highest order. I prescribe moderate amounts of ethanol mixed with water to help your perceptual problems.
Regards,
Lurking'
18 posted on 02/06/2006 2:28:35 PM PST by LurkingSince'98
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

The catalytic converter ought to soak up all the NOx.


19 posted on 02/06/2006 2:30:56 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
When gasoline is rationed, you would probably kill to get a gallon of ethanol for an emergency trip to the doctor.

The government is encouraging the use of ethanol since they see what the main stream media is afraid to talk about. $150 or so a barrel of oil if Venezuela stops shipping (as Chavez has promised) or $250 a barrel if Saudi Arabia is attacked by terrorists.

Even something polluting is a good thing when you look at the alternative of having nothing.

BTW Brazil is more than 50% ethanol use vs gasoline.

Lurking'
20 posted on 02/06/2006 2:35:39 PM PST by LurkingSince'98
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
A quote to backup my previous post: "Hermitage Capital's Bill Browder has performed a regression analysis from past oil shocks and used them to calculate what might happen when the supply from an oil-producing country was cut off in six different hypothetical situations today. The fall of the House of Saud, a low probability event, generates a price of $262 a barrel. More realistic is the scenario where Iran declares an oil embargo, which Browder’s model indicates could cause oil to rise to $131 a barrel. Other scenarios include an embargo by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ($111 a barrel), civil war in Nigeria ($98 a barrel), unrest and violence in Algeria ($79 a barrel) and additional major attacks on infrastructure by the insurgency in Iraq ($88 a barrel). Even without these events transpiring, a “risk premium” is already built into the current energy markets." From:THE ENERGY SECTOR REMAINS VOLATILE February 5, 2006 by Joseph Dancy, LSGI Advisors, Inc. Adjunct Professor, SMU School of Law Gotta look at the big picture. Regards, Lurking
21 posted on 02/06/2006 2:40:38 PM PST by LurkingSince'98
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To: Steveone
BTU count is a great way to measure the ability of a fuel to boil water; it is less so as a way to predict the ability of a fuel to drive an internal combustion engine.

Ethanol obtains somewhat less mileage than gasoline in an engine optimized for gasoline, but will outperform gasoline in an engine optimized for ethanol. My 2006 Chevrolet Silverado gets about 10% worse mileage on ethanol than gasoline, but my 1972 Chevy Nova was greased lightening on ethanol.

22 posted on 02/06/2006 3:06:56 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Mr. Lucky

Hey thank you for the reply I will remember that!


23 posted on 02/06/2006 6:04:09 PM PST by Steveone (Liberalism is a brain tumor!)
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To: GreenFreeper
All these clowns are doing is haggling over BS. The real issue is where do we get the huge amounts of oil and new and upgraded refineries to keep those fleets of gas and desiel burning guzzlers on the road. No one after all these years has given any political clout to what was supposed to have happened during the 70's after all the emmision standards where fosted upon the public. This crap that over the long run new engines for trucks could not have been made fuel efficient is a bunch of BS. So we continue to have huge fleets suck huge amounts of gas yearly, and all the burden is placed on the private vehicles.
This is just one thing these goons have not addressed. The fart around in endless circles but will never get down to brass tacks for those things we need now.
And to many continue to keep under wraps the large lubrication industry, petrochemical plants, that need oil. Gas is only one part of the problem. Don't people realize the huge amount of oil fractions and all the end products derived from those cuts, e.g. plastics, pharmecetical products, in short just about everything one can think off. It all starts off as oil. Hell, at last in the past, huge amounts of ethenal where a by product of oil refineries. I realize the various methodologies to produce ethenal from other sources but just want to make a point. Oil is king. And we will always need huge amounts of it.
We need to find, develop huge oil drilling fields. There are no options. Wind power, yes, solar power, yes, re-vitalize our nuclear energy program for electricity, yes, and so on. But we still we need huge amounts of oil.
24 posted on 02/06/2006 8:01:46 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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