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How A Dumb Law Blocks A Great Way To Fuel America
Forbes ^ | 4/03/2012 | Christopher Helman

Posted on 04/09/2012 5:33:26 PM PDT by Mechanicos

Steven Sterin thinks he has a better way. As president of the advanced fuels division at Dallas-based chemicals company Celanese, he’s supervising construction of two new plants—one in Texas, the other in China—to make ethanol. But you won’t see any vats fermenting corn here. Celanese makes its ethanol by tearing apart and recombining the hydrocarbons found in plentiful natural gas or coal.

.....

The problem isn’t science. It’s Washington. Thanks to the 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard law, gasoline refiners are mandated to blend so much plant-based or renewable ethanol into the gas supply that it prevents Celanese or any other fossil-fuel-based ethanols from even competing for the market

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


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anwr; cronyism; energy; ethanol; gas; keystonexl; law; mtba; ntsa; opec; stfu
Cronyism strikes again.
1 posted on 04/09/2012 5:33:41 PM PDT by Mechanicos
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To: Nachum; steelyourfaith; thackney

Ping.


2 posted on 04/09/2012 5:37:17 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Mechanicos

Why waste the enerby to convert natural gas to ethanol. Use the narural gas a fuel to power cars.


3 posted on 04/09/2012 5:46:28 PM PDT by meatloaf (Support House Bill 1380 to eliminate oil slavery.)
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To: meatloaf

I thought ethanol was hard on car engines, too.


4 posted on 04/09/2012 5:48:58 PM PDT by SuzyQue
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To: Mechanicos

We have all the oil we need to power everything. This is just another wasteful work-around liberal energy policies.


5 posted on 04/09/2012 5:58:43 PM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: Mechanicos

Why the hell would you want to make more ethanol? It’s already poisoning the gas, wrecking engines, and causing havoc. Burn coal and natural gas for power, dummy, don’t make ethanol out of it.


6 posted on 04/09/2012 6:10:42 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

The point is that he can do it with existing chemical processes and plants, and do it for $1.50 a gallon.


7 posted on 04/09/2012 6:32:08 PM PDT by D Rider
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To: meatloaf

I’m with you.

There may be good reasons for making ethanol from NG, but ethanol for fuel isn’t one of them.

Can’t wait for Ford to make a dual fuel EcoBoost F150 pickup.


8 posted on 04/09/2012 7:39:29 PM PDT by X-spurt (Its time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: D Rider
The point is that he can do it with existing chemical processes and plants, and do it for $1.50 a gallon.

Meanwhile, the price of E85 continues to trail regular unleaded by only 30 cents per gallon, despite containing only 15% gasoline. Someone will make a killing off of cheaper ethanol production, but I doubt if motorists will see much of a price change.

E85 would have to be $1.00 per gallon cheaper than unleaded at this point, just to break even in cost per mile traveled.

9 posted on 04/09/2012 7:53:13 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks Mechanicos.
Celanese makes its ethanol by tearing apart and recombining the hydrocarbons found in plentiful natural gas or coal... gasoline refiners are mandated to blend so much plant-based or renewable ethanol into the gas supply that it prevents Celanese or any other fossil-fuel-based ethanols from even competing for the market...
If methane- and coal-based ethanol were competitive with crude oil-derived products, this chemical company wouldn't have any complaint coming. As it is, it still doesn't have any complaint coming -- either the product makes sense as it is, or he's violating his fiduciary responsibility by building two plants to produce a product he can't sell.


10 posted on 04/09/2012 7:53:18 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Mechanicos

All I Know is nat gas is now 15% the cost of oil. Coal is cheap too. South Africa combines the two to make crude. We will too.


11 posted on 04/09/2012 8:18:42 PM PDT by cicero2k
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To: SuzyQue

It is. And it’s lethal on antique engines and 2-stroke engines like outboard motors. And it’s entirely unnecessary to boot.


12 posted on 04/09/2012 8:34:07 PM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: Mechanicos

Class action suits for wreaked engines.


13 posted on 04/09/2012 9:34:22 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: Charles Martel
E85 would have to be $1.00 per gallon cheaper than unleaded at this point, just to break even in cost per mile traveled.

The current cost of ethanol is quite a bit higher that what this company says it can be produced for. And to add to your point, if pollutants are measured per mile, then ethanol looks even worse.

The best idea is to open things up and let the free market decide which technology/fuel is the best. Instead we are stifling innovation through bureaucracy.

14 posted on 04/09/2012 9:47:55 PM PDT by D Rider
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To: SuzyQue

It is. Ethanol sucks, to put it bluntly. It decreases gas mileage and wrecks engines. I’ve also read that it really pollutes more than regular gasoline. It’s a product only government and corn farmers could love.


15 posted on 04/09/2012 10:35:58 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX ( The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else. ~)
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To: Cicero

Or use coal or natural gas to make synthetic fuel. The Fischer Tropf process can make synthetic fuel at about 40 dollars per barrel. That is less than the 100+$ per barrel we see today. The problem is once FT process comes on line, the usual producers have an incentive and a price point, and will produce until the price is below that for FT.

The government should then buy fuel for the strategic reserve, creating additional demand to keep the FT process viable. When prices go up, the government should sell fuel from the strategic reserve to keep producers from making money from their cartel, and making money from the strategic reserve. Some thought can be put into how much strategic reserve oil can be sold at various prices.


16 posted on 04/09/2012 11:00:24 PM PDT by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: Mechanicos

ETHANOL.

WHO SAYS FED GOV CAN’T FORCE YOU TO BUY A PRODUCT?


17 posted on 04/09/2012 11:08:38 PM PDT by HKMk23 ("Listen to me very carefully, do not put the candle back.")
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To: donmeaker

I am opposed, as every good conservative should be, to the government’s intervention in the marketplace. The strategic reserve was meant to ensure fuel would be available for emergencies and not for economic or political considerations.


18 posted on 04/09/2012 11:34:40 PM PDT by monocle
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To: monocle

I am not opposed to the government intervening in the marketplace.

The alternatives are
1. Steal what ever the government needs, or
2. Set up a parallel government production to make anything the government needs.

When the government needs something, it is usually most efficient to buy it. That is intervening in the market place. If you want a strategic petroleum reserve, it makes sense to buy the petroleum from someone who’s business it is to find and produce petroleum, and to buy it at the lowest possible cost. That is, when there is low prices.

That means there has to be some consideration of what prices are low, and what prices are high. One way to make that consideration is to lay out sources, and the cost for them, and decided that prices below a key source cost is low.

Since the government intervenes in the market to buy petroleum all the time, it can also provide petroleum to the market, and make use of private capability to ship petroleum. That would be by selling petroleum from its Wyoming reserves to private parties, and buying petroleum from private parties where oil is needed (say Saudi Arabia). The effect on the overall market would be the same, and the cost of shipping would be reduced.

In control theory, you can use a ‘bang bang’ approach, where you have your brake on full, or have the accelerator down to the floor. It can be optimum in a ‘least time to arrive at a given state’ sense, but seems to agitate most passengers. It tends to pluck the system, and excites spurious motions in the system to be controlled.

Another approach is to use smooth control movements, and perhaps even long intervals when no control input is provided at all. That tends to be more acceptable. Selling oil at the market price when above a certain level, and buying oil at the market price when below a certain level would be one way to provide a stabilizing input, protect the market from some degree of price manipulation (by which the Saudi’s have become even more rich).

Fine, you are against it. Why? What is the real reason?


19 posted on 04/10/2012 4:50:48 PM PDT by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: donmeaker

So you condone the use of government assets for political considerations?


20 posted on 04/10/2012 10:09:57 PM PDT by monocle
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To: monocle

I condone the use of government assets for American purposes.


21 posted on 04/11/2012 10:53:29 PM PDT by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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