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Let ethanol have a go in a free market
Mpls. Star Tribune ^ | 6/25/11 | Jason Lewis

Posted on 06/26/2011 6:20:11 AM PDT by rhema

When the gasohol governor marches into Iowa and says that ethanol's subsidy days are numbered because "we simply can't afford them," you know the times they are a-changin'.

Tim Pawlenty's courage may have been borne of necessity, but nonetheless, it is in stark contrast to Newt Gingrich, who went to Des Moines and got on bended knee in front of the Renewable Fuels Association.

Or for that matter, Al Gore, who not long ago admitted that the only reason he supported ethanol in Iowa was to secure the presidency. Profiles in courage they're not.

But now, a bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate has voted to end more than three decades of taxpayer support for the biofuel as a potential component of a deficit-reduction deal. Even former President Bill Clinton has warned of "food riots" as a result of diverting nearly 40 percent of the nation's corn crop to ethanol.

The USDA reports that America's corn reserves have hit their lowest level since the mid-1990s, resulting in a doubling of the price of corn from just a few years ago. Indeed, corn futures now hover around $7 per bushel.

A few stakeholders may applaud the rising prices, but there's a difference between genuine prosperity and a government-induced commodity and agricultural land bubble that threatens to burst just as soon as the subsidies stop.

In the meantime, consumers are paying for this feel-good energy policy, as everything from the cost of groceries to livestock feed is heading north.

The issue should be of special importance to the GOP. The Tea Party types who swept Republicans into power in 2010 are now demanding a return to real markets and a departure from the crony capitalism dominated by government favor.

Besides, ethanol subsidies aren't going to family farms, they're going to large corporate

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; US: Iowa; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: algore; ethanol; footshooters; iowa; jasonlewis; minnesota; newtgingrich; ntsa; opec; ssda; timpawlenty

1 posted on 06/26/2011 6:20:15 AM PDT by rhema
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To: rhema

There are a couple of diverse (they sell variety) vegetable farms near me. They sell direct to the public ad I know they aren’t being subsidized.


2 posted on 06/26/2011 6:24:15 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: rhema

Memo to Michele B........


3 posted on 06/26/2011 6:25:16 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright
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To: rhema

Memo to Michele B........


4 posted on 06/26/2011 6:25:48 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright
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To: rhema

Solar, wind, ethanol, etc. Let them rise or fall in a truly free market. The most effective energy solutions for particular applications will be found without the heavy hand of government.


5 posted on 06/26/2011 6:27:04 AM PDT by CitizenUSA (Coming soon...DADT for Christians!)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

And to Mr. T-Boone Pickens co-sponsor himself, Ron Paul


6 posted on 06/26/2011 6:31:39 AM PDT by chilepup
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To: rhema
Corn futures are way over priced, there will be another record harvest this year, mr farmer I would sell now.
7 posted on 06/26/2011 6:31:54 AM PDT by org.whodat
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To: cripplecreek

Down the street from me there’s a farmer who plants acres of cabbage. Then the next year it’s some kind of squash or pumpkins and every year it gets plowed under. This really ticks me off, especially when food pantries would love to receive fresh produce! I would assume this jacka$$ is getting some sort of subsidy!


8 posted on 06/26/2011 6:32:06 AM PDT by alice_in_bubbaland (DeMint /Palin, DeMint/Bachmann, DeMint/Cain, DeMint/Ryan 2012!!!!!!!)
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To: rhema

We are actually exporting ethanol. Those importers realize they’re also affecting their imports of corn, wheat etc...STUPID!!!


9 posted on 06/26/2011 6:38:27 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: CitizenUSA

The government needs to also remove use mandates. Without that you are just being forced into buying high cost solutions rather than choosing the best solution for your situation. This is not free market.


10 posted on 06/26/2011 6:40:43 AM PDT by Dutch Boy
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

11 posted on 06/26/2011 6:45:39 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's the Obamacare, stupid! -- Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland

I would assume that farming neighbor would have no problem with your picking up some of that surplus crop and delivering it to the food bank.


12 posted on 06/26/2011 6:49:10 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's the Obamacare, stupid! -- Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: chilepup

...but T. Boone is not asking to be President with tea party credentials.


13 posted on 06/26/2011 6:50:14 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright
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To: rhema

Pawlenty on ethanol program tax credits (subsidies) “we simply can’t afford them,”. So, we can afford the other ones?


14 posted on 06/26/2011 6:50:15 AM PDT by ngat
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To: Dutch Boy

Dutch Boy: “The government needs to also remove use mandates.”

Agree, but I’m not opposed to regulations to protect the environment and citizens from reasonable harm. Reasonable is subjective of course, but let’s just say we’re way past the point of reasonableness right now.

The free market is the best way to find solutions for given problems. For example, there might be an abundance of excess corn in some areas, and that corn might be best used to make ethanol. Who knows? I’m certainly not qualified to say. Same thing for bureaucrats in D.C. Like they know what’s best in a given situation. That’s laughable.

On the other hand, if a company wants to dump waste products from ethanol production into local streams to save money, then maybe there needs to be regulations to address that. Those regulations shouldn’t come from D.C., though.


15 posted on 06/26/2011 6:53:04 AM PDT by CitizenUSA (Coming soon...DADT for Christians!)
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To: SunkenCiv

This is Jersey, I would be arrested for trespassing!

I’m not sure who the farmer is. I know the owner/retired farmer of the land, but I think he leases it out these days.


16 posted on 06/26/2011 6:59:32 AM PDT by alice_in_bubbaland (DeMint /Palin, DeMint/Bachmann, DeMint/Cain, DeMint/Ryan 2012!!!!!!!)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland; SunkenCiv

Could be part of this program. You know the one. They pay you not to farm your farm.

http://www.apfo.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=copr&topic=crp


17 posted on 06/26/2011 7:03:38 AM PDT by bigheadfred ( He put... creatures... in our bodies... to control our minds.)
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To: rhema

When the gasohol governor marches into Iowa and says that ethanol’s subsidy days are numbered because “we simply can’t afford them,”


Lets not forget that T-paw rammed this crap down our gas tanks in Minnesota and upped it to 20%!


18 posted on 06/26/2011 7:05:40 AM PDT by cableguymn
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To: alice_in_bubbaland; SunkenCiv
This is Jersey, I would be arrested for trespassing!

I don't think civ means you just roll in and start loading up the station wagon. Do some groundwork. Don't just furrow your brow. Glean some information. Cultivate a friendship...

19 posted on 06/26/2011 7:08:20 AM PDT by bigheadfred ( He put... creatures... in our bodies... to control our minds.)
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To: CitizenUSA

The goverment is the only place where a product can be created which would fail in the “free market”.

After the product is not wanted or needed and in many cases causes more problems your goverment can mandate that it be used anyway.


20 posted on 06/26/2011 7:08:33 AM PDT by tiger63
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To: bigheadfred

The trick is to take the cash, then plant the whole place to pot. That way a lot of heads explode, particularly around here. ;’)


21 posted on 06/26/2011 7:09:50 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's the Obamacare, stupid! -- Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: SunkenCiv

And you’re going green at the same time! It’s a win win win!


22 posted on 06/26/2011 7:12:38 AM PDT by bigheadfred ( He put... creatures... in our bodies... to control our minds.)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland

Not if you called him up and asked him first. See if he’s really required to plow under his unsold crop in order to receive his subsidy.


23 posted on 06/26/2011 7:15:16 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's the Obamacare, stupid! -- Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: org.whodat
Corn futures are way over priced, there will be another record harvest this year, mr farmer I would sell now.



June 9th, 2011

The USDA report this morning dropped the estimated 2011 corn crop by 305 million bushels to 13.2 billion bushels. They also reduced their estimate for feed use by 100 million bushels. Hence, the 2011/2012 estimated corn carryout has been reduced by 205 million to 695 million bushels from their May estimate of 900 million bushels. This is supportive of a higher new crop corn price. The USDA revised their estimated price for new crop corn to $6-7/bushel from $5.50/6.50 in May.

The estimated number of planted corn acres was reduced 1.5 million acres to 90.7 million versus the prior estimate of 92.2 million.

Projected harvested corn acres were reduced by 1.9 million to 83.2 million with 400,000 more acres removed due to flooding.

This would be 5 million less acres harvested than last year.

U.S. corn exports were down 32% for the week ending June 2 versus the prior week. Some of this could be due to lower Mississippi river traffic disruptions. 2010/11 US corn exports to date are running down 4.5% versus last year.

Chinese corn production estimates were increased by 200 million bushels and 240 million bushels but these were more than offset by consumption increases of 320 million bushels and 520 million bushels for 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 respectively.

Global corn ending stocks for 2011/2012 are projected down 690 million bushels to 4.47 billion bushels, the lowest level since 2006/07.


24 posted on 06/26/2011 7:19:33 AM PDT by Kegger
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To: rhema

I am not willing to risk failure of my car.


25 posted on 06/26/2011 7:22:25 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: CitizenUSA

My concern is that if the subsidies are removed but the mandate to use 10% Ethanol remains it would only result in a rise in fuel prices. It sounds like a good old fashioned shafting of the people and right out of the liberal play book. Keep fuel prices artificially high, collect the extra tax money that occurs as a result of the higher prices all along pushing for things like high speed trains, electric cars and instigating anger against the gas companies. It’s like a opera.


26 posted on 06/26/2011 7:50:45 AM PDT by Dutch Boy
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To: C. Edmund Wright

Nope, but Ron Paul is...


27 posted on 06/26/2011 8:21:50 AM PDT by chilepup
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To: alice_in_bubbaland

Maybe you could make a you tube video of the farmer plowing under produce and post it to FR.


28 posted on 06/26/2011 8:29:27 AM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: rhema

Though alot of the claims on this board about ethanol are overblown, I still am not a fan of ethanol as the added-value ag solution for farmers. We have locked ourselves into a paradigm that in my opinion amounts to putting our eggs into one added-value basket.

There are technologies, in their infancy but being developed, that extract other products from farm products, not only corn, but other grains. Oil, protein, pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, things that are not tied to the fuel market, have high value and diversify both the end product market but also the crops a farmer can grow profitably. Not all land is suited best for corn.

The model we need to follow is the reverse of what we have with ethanol. We need to extract all but the carbohydrates up front, then either ferment those to whatever is most profitable, or sell them to whatever industry can use them in their process. The result would be a far more efficient, valuable process, one that is also free market without subsidies or mandates.

We need to do this now. The ethanol industry has become enough of a force that it now has a pull on prices, and I’m afraid that will risk stomping out other viable technologies if ethanol makes corn too expensive because of high fuel prices. Worse, I’m worried about a bust if oil crashes.

Nor do I want to go back to shipping it overseas on a barge, or going back to the cheap meat paradigm that our original farm policy is structured for, and which is the ulterior motive of many on this board when they rail against ethanol. Subsidy is subsidy. Let’s give the farmer true freedom to farm by getting rid of all of it.


29 posted on 06/26/2011 8:43:46 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: sportutegrl

Context is everything. He might be using those crops as ‘green manure’, something the video probably wouldn’t show.


30 posted on 06/26/2011 9:07:58 AM PDT by Balding_Eagle
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To: rhema
Tim Pawlenty's courage may have been borne of necessity,

Courage? you have to be kidding. TPaw is a weak man. Courage would be standing in Iowa stating "Ethanol subsidies and the mandates for ethanol should immediately end." Ethanol is evil and a cancer on Capitalism.

31 posted on 06/26/2011 9:27:42 AM PDT by sand88 (Sarah Palin announces her run: August 12, 2011 11:10am ET)
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To: Balding_Eagle

Sounds like it all amounts to “green manure” but you don’t grow squash, pumpkins or cabbage INTENTIONALLY as green manure. That wouldn’t make much sense.


32 posted on 06/26/2011 9:45:16 AM PDT by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a liberal is like teaching algebra to a tomcat.)
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To: Kegger

You pay your money you take your chance, my statement stands.


33 posted on 06/26/2011 9:53:41 AM PDT by org.whodat
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To: rhema

I have spoken to IOWANS who have enough common sense to recognize that government subsidies for ethanol just aren’t right!


34 posted on 06/26/2011 10:16:28 AM PDT by Redbob (W.W.J.B.D.: "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: rhema

I’m disappointed this article doesn’t mention the Hundreds of Billion dollars spent to subsidize Big Oil! Those subsidies should be eliminated as well.

If someone knows the cost in real dollars to provide a U.S. Millitary escort thru foreign seas for oil tankers headed to the U.S., I hope they will post it. I know it’s huge,, just don’t have the accurate figure.


35 posted on 06/26/2011 1:06:07 PM PDT by Iowa Granny (Clintion ruined a dress, but Obama ruined a Nation.)
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To: org.whodat
You pay your money you take your chance, my statement stands.

No problem, I hope my investment pans out.
36 posted on 06/26/2011 4:13:45 PM PDT by Kegger
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To: C. Edmund Wright

The author of this piece, Jason Lewis, introduced Bachmann at a big event tonight.


37 posted on 06/27/2011 12:30:25 AM PDT by xjcsa (Ridiculing the ridiculous since the day I was born.)
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To: Iowa Granny
Some interesting oil industry statistics - imports/exports IG - I think using farm land to produce "fuel" is not the way to go. I do believe the energy market should be self financing. I believe we had the same sort of energy debate when Wendell Wilkie opposed the TVA back in 1933; Slightly before our time.
38 posted on 06/28/2011 10:11:15 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine's brother (Beebers? We don't need no stinkin beebers)
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To: ngat

depends on when you ask him.

http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/09/26_mccalluml_ethanol/

Pawlenty pumps ethanol
by Laura McCallum, Minnesota Public Radio
September 26, 2005

Governor Tim Pawlenty addresses the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition in St Paul. (MPR photo/Laura McCallum)
Governor Pawlenty is challenging other states to boost their ethanol consumption. He told a meeting of the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition that the corn-based fuel will reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. The group consists of 31 states and five countries that support ethanol. But unlike Minnesota, few of them mandate ethanol use.


39 posted on 06/28/2011 9:07:27 PM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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