Archive for February 15th, 2009

President Obama Is Very Wrong on Ethanol–Yes He Can Raise Your Food and Gas Prices–Videos

Posted on February 15, 2009. Filed under: Blogroll, Climate, Economics, Employment, Energy, Law, Links, Politics, Quotations, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Technology, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ethanol_fuel_pump 

President Obama is very wrong on ethanol.

He favors using the taxes paid by millions of Americans to subsidize ethanol production to be used as a biofuel in our cars and trucks.

Why is President Obama wrong on ethanol?

Who do you think were very big contributors to his political campaign?

Ethanol producers and farmers were two groups that contributed significant amounts of money to his campaign.

Archer Daniels Midland Company Profile

This is called pay to play.

The American farmers and ethanol producers pay campaign contributions to professional politicians of both political parties to  play or support tax credits and subsidies for ethanol.

The big winners are the farmers and ethanol producers.

Ethanol Boom Affecting Farms, Gas Pump

 

The big losers are the American people who pay not only taxes but higher prices for corn, milk, wheat and other farm products at the grocery store.

The American people and those abroad who depend upon the United States for their wheat and corn are facing significantly rising food prices.

For example several years ago you could buy on sale 4 cans of corn for $1.

Then a few years back you could buy 3 cans of corn for $1.

Today the price of 1 can of corn is between 69 cents and $1.

Why? Ethanol.

I for one would like to eat my corn and buy unleaded gasoline without ethanol.

This is not change that the American people hoped for.

Repeating the mistakes of former President Bush on ethanol is not change.

Global Pulse: Biofuel – Another Flawed Policy?

Ethanol also reduces gas mileage and increases smog.

Furthermore, ethanol may damage older cars and trucks and smaller engines as the percentage of ethanol added to the gasoline increases above 10% requiring costly repairs.

This is change the American people especially those unemployed or under-employed cannot afford–higher food prices, higher gas prices, lower gas mileage, more smog, and expensive car repairs.

Thanks a lot Mr. President.

Hope you enjoyed your Valentine’s dinner in Chicago.

Could President Obama be just as wrong about the stimulus package?

Yes he can!

Talking the talk, but not walking the walk.

 

Obama and Ethanol

 

Biofuels & Ethanol: The Real Story 

 

Glenn Beck: Food vs Fuel

 

Biofuels scandal + food prices. Biofuel crisis, biofuel oil, biofuel production, cars, algae, systems and basics introduction to facts about biofuels. Conference keynote speaker Patrick Dixon

 
Food vs Fuel–No one wins

 

The True Cost of Corn Ethanol


 

Subsidies for Biofuels

 

1/24/09: President Obama’s Weekly Address

 

LOL: Something Scientific: Ethanol

 

How To Make Ethanol Work – Presented by The Auto Channel

 

Ethanol Boom Affecting Farms, Gas Pump

 

Pitfalls of Ethanol Fuel

 

Marlo Lewis on the problems with Ethanol

 

Myth: Corn Ethanol is Great

 

Background Articles and Videos

 

Ethanol

Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug, best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and in modern thermometers. Ethanol is one of the oldest recreational drugs known to man. In common usage, it is often referred to simply as alcohol or spirits.

Ethanol is a straight-chain alcohol, and its molecular formula is C2H5OH. Its empirical formula is C2H6O. An alternative notation is CH3-CH2-OH, which indicates that the carbon of a methyl group (CH3-) is attached to the carbon of a methylene group (-CH2-), which is attached to the oxygen of a hydroxyl group (-OH). It is a constitutional isomer of dimethyl ether. Ethanol is often abbreviated as EtOH, using the common organic chemistry notation of representing the ethyl group (C2H5) with Et.

The fermentation of sugar into ethanol is one of the earliest organic reactions employed by humanity. The intoxicating effects of ethanol consumption have been known since ancient times. In modern times, ethanol intended for industrial use is also produced from by-products of petroleum refining.[1]

Ethanol has widespread use as a solvent of substances intended for human contact or consumption, including scents, flavorings, colorings, and medicines. In chemistry, it is both an essential solvent and a feedstock for the synthesis of other products. It has a long history as a fuel for heat and light and also as a fuel for internal combustion engines. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol

 

Ethanol Issues

Transportation obstacles: like other alcohols (and unlike gasoline, natural gas and oil), ethanol absorbs water and chemicals. For that reason, ethanol cannot travel through the established pipelines and tanks that move petroleum products without picking up excess water. Furthermore, as gasoline travels through pipelines or tanks, it leaves some solids that ethanol will pick up and dissolve into itself if it flows through the same pipeline or tank. Ethanol also corrodes pipelines, making the fuel unusable. To remain uncontaminated, ethanol must be transported by land separately from gasoline and it must be blended with gasoline just before distribution. This lack of infrastructure for shipping and blending ethanol with gasoline adds cost to the end product and eats away at profits.
Logistics: most ethanol plants are situated in the Midwest corn belt (Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Indiana) due to the close proximity of the feedstock. The further a region is from the corn belt, the higher the shipping costs and the higher the price at the pumps. This is a major reason for the push to develop technology that can economically produce ethanol from cellulosic vegetation.
Tight market: increased demand for ethanol has created a tight ethanol market in some areas. Distribution may be temporarily limited by production capacity as well as the cost and difficulties involved in moving very large volumes of ethanol on demand.
E85 infrastructure: only a small portion of the 168,000 service stations in the U.S. pump E85. Even with E85 incentives in place, the scarcity of E85 fueling stations means that most flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) owners end up filling their tanks with gasoline instead of ethanol.
Lower fuel economy: while prices for E85 may currently be less per gallon than regular unleaded gasoline (due to current tax incentives), mileage also is lower. Typically vehicles consume 1.4 gallons of E85 for every gallon of regular gasoline they would otherwise use. Additionally, even with its tax incentives ethanol is often more expensive than gasoline.
Corrosion: because the alcohol in ethanol corrodes aluminum, FFV components are made of stainless steel and E85 pumps must be modified or manufactured with stainless steel to prevent corrosion. Repeated exposure to E85 also corrodes the metal and rubber parts in older engines (pre-1988) designed primarily for gasoline.

http://www.seco.cpa.state.tx.us/re_ethanol.htm 

 

Obama Camp Closely Linked With Ethanol  

“…Mr. Obama is running as a reformer who is seeking to reduce the influence of special interests. But like any other politician, he has powerful constituencies that help shape his views. And when it comes to domestic ethanol, almost all of which is made from corn, he also has advisers and prominent supporters with close ties to the industry at a time when energy policy is a point of sharp contrast between the parties and their presidential candidates.

In the heart of the Corn Belt that August day, Mr. Obama argued that embracing ethanol “ultimately helps our national security, because right now we’re sending billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth.” America’s oil dependence, he added, “makes it more difficult for us to shape a foreign policy that is intelligent and is creating security for the long term.”

Nowadays, when Mr. Obama travels in farm country, he is sometimes accompanied by his friend Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader from South Dakota. Mr. Daschle now serves on the boards of three ethanol companies and works at a Washington law firm where, according to his online job description, “he spends a substantial amount of time providing strategic and policy advice to clients in renewable energy.”

Mr. Obama’s lead advisor on energy and environmental issues, Jason Grumet, came to the campaign from the National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan initiative associated with Mr. Daschle and Bob Dole, the Kansas Republican who is also a former Senate majority leader and a big ethanol backer who had close ties to the agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland. …”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/us/politics/23ethanol.html 

 

Corn-fed Obama

By Michelle Malkin  

He’s in the tank for ethanol.

Same old, same old.

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/06/23/corn-fed-obama/

 

 Ethanol Blended Fuels

http://www.ethanolacrossamerica.net/EthanolCurriculum93003.pdf

Ethanol: A Tragedy in 3 Acts

Amid the current panic about gas prices many people are embracing ethanol. But that’s not such a good idea

Mechanics see ethanol damaging small engines

Fuel blend, already implicated in high food prices, linked to rise in repairs

“…Although the Web is rife with complaints from car owners who say ethanol damaged their engines, ethanol producers and automakers say it’s safe to use in cars. But smaller engines — the two-cycle utility engines in lawnmowers, chain saws and outboard boat motors — are another story.

Benjamin Mallisham, owner of a lawnmower repair shop in Tuscaloosa, Ala., said at least 40 percent of the lawnmower engines he repairs these days have been damaged by ethanol.

“When you put that ethanol in here, it eats up the insides or rusts them out,” Mallisham said. “All the rubber gaskets and parts — it eats those up.”

The sludge problem
Auto mechanics say the same thing takes place in car engines, where debris dislodged by ethanol in gas station fuel tanks can gum things up. But car engines are highly sophisticated; especially in later models, they’re equipped to comfortably handle the fallout of ethanol-blended gas, mechanics said.  …”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25936782/

 

The Manufacture and Distribution of Corn-Based Fuel Grade Ethanol

“…As of now (2007), there are ~ 110 operating corn-based ethanol plants in the US with 56 more under construction. IA has the most, at 26, with also the most currently under construction, at 13. The greatest concentration is in the midwest (the cornbelt), but ethanol plants can also be found in a few other areas with more new construction in the works. Most midwestern ethanol plants receive their corn locally, via truck, but those farther away also receive shipments via railroad covered hopper cars (each with a capacity of 3,800 bushels).

On arrival, the corn is ground to a powder, then mixed with water and enzymes. The enzymes will break the corn’s starch into even-chain sugars, such as glucose and dextrose. The sugars are then mixed with yeast, which breaks them down into CO2 and ethyl alcohol (ethanol). Some plants release the CO2 into the atmosphere while others capture it and ship it out by railroad tank car. The ethanol at this point is only about 13% of the resulting mix and must be distilled, which separates the alcohol from everything else. The remainder is 95% alcohol which is then vaporized and run through a dryer to yield 200 proof fuel-grade ethanol.

Ethanol plants aren’t licensed to ship out beverage-grade alcohol so the product must be denatured. A common denaturant is natural gasoline, a byproduct of the natural gas refining process. This is delivered to the ethanol plant using railroad tank cars. The final product is 95 to 98% pure ethanol and ready to be legally shipped to a distribution point.

An additional byproduct of the process ought to be mentioned for the sake of completeness. After the enzymes extract starch from the corn, there are wet, ground up bits rich in proteins, left over; they’re called distillers grains and some of it will be sold directly to local farmers for feed. The bulk of it is dried, shipped out by railcar, and sold in distant feed markets. …”

http://www.imazda.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12910 

 

Biofuels: From hope to husk

By Kevin Allison and Stephanie Kirchgaessner

“…It was an American dream that has failed to become a reality. For much of the last decade, enthusiasts from President George W. Bush down have touted corn-based ethanol as something approaching a superfuel, a home-grown alternative to foreign oil that would help cut smog and bring hope to struggling farmers.

It has not worked out that way. Instead, the ethanol industry has undergone a great boom and bust in which a Financial Times analysis has found investors as savvy as Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder, have collectively lost billions of dollars.

Despite the billions more in taxpayers’ dollars that was spent to subsidise it, ethanol now eats up nearly one-quarter of the US corn crop without so far fulfilling the hopes held for its beneficial effect either on the environment or US dependence on foreign energy.

It may have helped keep gasoline prices lower in the world’s wealthiest nation, but a growing band of influential critics say it has also contributed to higher food prices in the world’s poorest countries. So far, the only sure beneficiaries from the ethanol promise have been the investors clever enough to get into the industry early and the corn farmers who have enjoyed a lucrative new market for their grain. …”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bec31b9c-9f9c-11dd-a3fa-000077b07658.html

Investors suffer as US ethanol boom dries up

By Kevin Allison in San Francisco and Stephanie,Kirchgaessner in New York

“…Investor losses come as taxpayers have paid billions to support the ethanol industry. More than $11.2bn has been spent since 2005 on tax breaks for companies that blend ethanol into petrol. Billions more have been spent on direct state and federal subsidies for US ethanol production.

“We’re looking at an industry that’s cost $80bn to get to this point,” said Bob Starkey, a fuels analyst at Jim Jordan & Associates, a research group in Houston.

However, ethanol has disappointed many who saw it as a wonder product that could reduce the US’s dependence on foreign oil while cutting down on pollution. Worse, a growing number of influential critics now say ethanol is helping raise the price of food. …”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a9c5698e-9fd3-11dd-a3fa-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1

 

Surprise: Government Mandates Behind Ethanol ‘Bubble’

Boudreaux addressed ethanol in “America 2012,” BMI’s new Special Report on economic issues in the presidential campaign.  

“Farmers, especially corn farmers, made out like bandits because now there’s this artificial market enhancement for their product and so they’re receiving higher returns causing the price of corn products to rise, the price of foods that are close substitutes for corn to rise, and of course it’s … one element in the rise of the price of gasoline.”

Ethanol as an alternative source of energy is one of the major issues in the presidential campaign. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama has supported ethanol, calling it “only the beginning.” His GOP opponent, Sen. John McCain, has criticized ethanol subsidies.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/nathan-burchfiel/2008/10/23/surprise-government-mandates-behind-ethanol-bubble

 

Ethanol Myths and Realties

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2006/tc20060519_225336.htm

 

Small Producer Credit Sought in Economic Stimulus Bill

“… Ethanol proponents are seeking to include an amended small ethanol producer tax credit in the economic stimulus package being debated in Congress. The Coalition’s, Chairman, Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns, recently sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley of Iowa requesting their support. “The credit was created as an incentive for farmers who invested in small ethanol production facilities. At present, this credit works as a disincentive to farmers organized as a cooperative. The addition of the small ethanol producer credit for farmer cooperatives will make available an incentive that is important to the nation’s ethanol plant development efforts, especially in rural areas of our states,” Johanns said.

“If included in the economic stimulus package, this provision will be a timely incentive for farmer cooperatives that are facing significant economic challenges,” Johanns said. “The addition of farmer-owned ethanol cooperative incentives will help to stimulate the economy of areas in which the plants are located, and the new production will increase domestic ethanol production capacity. This combination of value-added agri-processing and production of renewable ethanol from domestic resources will serve to strengthen the economic stimulus package and will allow farmer cooperatives to participate in the growth of the ethanol industry.” …”

http://www.ethanol-gec.org/jan2002/jan01.html

 

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