Skip to comments.CA: The Farce About Ethanol... (Tom McClintock)
Posted on 06/28/2007 8:53:45 PM PDT by calcowgirl
In response to my blog, "Ethanol Economics," Former Secretary of State Bill Jones (now Chairman of Pacific Ethanol), made five key points in his piece, "The Facts About Ethanol." Just for fun, let's run "The Facts About Ethanol" through the old fact-checker:
"Today, ethanol is about 65 cents per gallon cheaper than gasoline in the California market." That's only after taxpayers and consumers have kicked in a subsidy of $1.50 per gallon - or $7 billion a year paid into the pockets of ethanol producers to hide the staggering price of ethanol production. And even with the subsidy, the California Energy Commission estimates that the new CARB edict will INCREASE the price per gallon by between 4.2 and 6.5 cents - on top of the tax subsidies. Ouch.
"Allowing a 10 percent blend of ethanol into gasoline provides a 4 percent supply increase to the marketplace at a price far below current gasoline prices." Not only is the price far ABOVE current gasoline prices (see above) but Bill ignores the fact that ethanol produces less energy than gasoline - meaning you'll have to buy more gallons for the same mileage.
"CARB's recent vote reduces our reliance on oil from overseas..." Let's walk through the numbers again. One acre of corn produces 350 gallons of ethanol; the CARB edict will require 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol, in turn requiring 4.3 million acres of corn for ethanol production. Yet California only has 11 million acres devoted to growing crops of any kind. And that, in turn, means an increasing reliance on foreign agricultural produce, shifting our energy dependence from King Abdullah to Hu Jintao.
"Further, it sends a signal to companies like ours to continue to invest in California production to help make this state energy independent." Yes, you can sell a lot more ethanol with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone. You got me there. But it also sends a signal to the market to raise prices on every product that relies upon corn for both food and grain feed - meaning skyrocketing prices for everything from corn meal to milk. Remember the tortilla riots in Mexico in January?
"Pacific Ethanol uses state-of-the-art production practices that reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 40 percent compared to conventional gasoline." Unless Pacific Ethanol has re-written the laws of chemistry, ethanol is produced by converting glucose into two parts ethanol and two parts carbon dioxide. The chemical equation is C6H12O6 = 2C2H5OH + 2CO2. (Memo to Bill: If you're not using this formula, you're not producing ethanol. And if you are, you're also producing lots of carbon dioxide. Better check.)
Stupid laws for stupid people.
McClintock: Pulling the covers off, one issue at a time.
McClintock Ping List.
Please freepmail me if you want on or off this list
Oh, those lousy facts!
Sure wish we had voted this guy in instead of that asshat Ahhhhnold.
PEOPLE WOULD NOT LISTEN. WE WERE ALL ENAMORED WITH HIS CELEBRITY STATUS. I THINK PEOPLE WERE PRAYING FOR ANOTHER REAGAN. WHAT WE GOT WAS A SLIGHTLY CONSERVATIVE KENNEDY IN POWER.
The whole ethanol craze is just such a completely absurd farce, and it doesn’t take anything more potent than sixth grade math to prove it. It’s snake-oil elixir sold from a covered wagon by hucksters. The more you look at the numbers on ethanol, the less believable it is that it’s even a matter of serious discussion. Personally, I’m tired of hearing about it.
I haven’t heard this nonsense before; but the argument that ethanol will reduce carbon dioxide emissions must be some kind of test to see if anyone is actually listening with their brains engaged. All hydrocarbons produce carbon dioxide (or monoxide, which is generally taken to convert to dioxide in the atmosphere) and water when they are burned, it’s just that simple.
When plants, like corn, grow they take carbon out of the atmosphere. When the plant or its products are burned (or decay) that carbon returns to the atmosphere. Closed loop, no increase in carbon in the atmosphere.
The carbon in oil (or coal or gas) was stored there millions of years ago when the fossil fuels were formed. Burn it and you have increased the total carbon in the atmosphere.
They don't explain it well, but the company is right and Tom is wrong. On this point.
There are lots of other excellent reasons why ethanol is a dumb idea, but this isn't one of them.
Please add me to your McClintock Ping list. I need to be constantly reminded that although there is sufficient brain power available in California to fix the state, our citizens choose to run headlong for the cliff and elect dems and Ahnold.
Sorry, I didn’t read this. However, I sure as h#ll wish my Hennesy was $3.00 or $4.00 a gallon ;-)
I'll never forgive CRP for their lack of support to Tom for Lt. Gov.
A term in that job and he would have had the visibility and name recognition to have slid into the Govs' seat when he termed out.
Well, at least you commented. In Texas, that’s somethin’!
keep em coming...
The chemistry doesn't work economically, the process requires vast subsidy for the fuel to be competitive with motor gasoline, the input we're using is entirely the wrong one, the mileage is crappy, the fact that we're using corn as the input is raising the prices of most other foods artificially and to no purpose, the chemical itself has enormous handling problems (can't be pipelined, for one thing, and requires diesel or gasoline just to be delivered), and, oh yes, ethanol inarguably produces more smog per unit volume than gasoline, when burned.
Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
Sheesh. Well, it's only a matter of time before the sheeple figure all this out...but WHY do we have to wait, eh? Grrrr.
Crap! I’m stil tryin’ to figure out if that’s an insult or not. Hmmm??????
I guess you’re assuming no internal combustion engines were used to harvest or transport or process the corn or to pump the water needed to irrigate the corn or to deliver the ethanol to market. I don’t know what energy inputs are required to grow the kinds of giant amounts or corn that would be required for this whole idiocy; and it wouldn’t be the only case where once-removed energy inputs are just totally ignored. (Eg; electric cars allegedly having zero emissions; but let’s ignore the coal-fired power-plant emissions...solar cells not generating considerable amounts of toxic by-products like any other semiconductor)
Ha! The only thing that’s inarguable is that it’d sure be better to make the $$ selling the snake oil (while the getting’s good = while the gov’t subsidizes corn) than to know the reality.
When you say ethanol can’t be pipelined, I assume you mean thru the same pipes that currently carry petroleum?
Yes, I should have been more specific, sorry. Ethanol will pipe just fine...if you build a separate pipe network for it (gag me with a shovel).
Meanwhile, the price of everything connected with corn is going through the roof. This is stupid beyond even stupid.
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