Skip to comments.Let ethanol have a go in a free market
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 ...
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.
Memo to Michele B........
Memo to Michele B........
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.
And to Mr. T-Boone Pickens co-sponsor himself, Ron Paul
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!
We are actually exporting ethanol. Those importers realize they’re also affecting their imports of corn, wheat etc...STUPID!!!
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.
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.
...but T. Boone is not asking to be President with tea party credentials.
Pawlenty on ethanol program tax credits (subsidies) “we simply can’t afford them,”. So, we can afford the other ones?
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.
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.
Could be part of this program. You know the one. They pay you not to farm your farm.
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%!
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...
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.
The trick is to take the cash, then plant the whole place to pot. That way a lot of heads explode, particularly around here. ;’)
And you’re going green at the same time! It’s a win win win!
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.
I am not willing to risk failure of my car.
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.
Nope, but Ron Paul is...
Maybe you could make a you tube video of the farmer plowing under produce and post it to FR.
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.
Context is everything. He might be using those crops as ‘green manure’, something the video probably wouldn’t show.
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.
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.
You pay your money you take your chance, my statement stands.
I have spoken to IOWANS who have enough common sense to recognize that government subsidies for ethanol just aren’t right!
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.
The author of this piece, Jason Lewis, introduced Bachmann at a big event tonight.
depends on when you ask him.
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.