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By Robert Rapier on Mar 22, 2011 with 23 responses

Clarifying Misconceptions on Taxpayer-Subsidized Ethanol Exports

Last November, the Financial Times published an article charging that ethanol from the U.S. is collecting U.S. tax credits before being shipped to Europe, where it also qualifies for favorable tax treatment. I wrote an article about this called Taxpayer Subsidized Ethanol Exports May Bite Industry in the Future. The gist of my article was that if this charge is true, it completely undermines the supposed reasons U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing ethanol in the first place — to reduce dependence on foreign oil. In fact, as I showed in a later article, any ethanol that is exported actually increases our dependence on foreign oil because it takes some oil to make the ethanol and then ship it to the export market, but it displaces no fuel domestically.

I also pointed to a similar situation that had previously occurred in the biodiesel industry. Biodiesel was being subsidized by U.S. taxpayers, blended with a bit of petroleum diesel, and then shipped to Europe where it also qualified for subsidies. The EU ultimately put a stop to that practice by imposing duties on biodiesel originating from the U.S. in an effort to level the playing field for European producers who only qualified for the European subsidies. The result was devastating for a U.S. biodiesel industry whose production had grown on the basis of a lucrative export market, and I warned that U.S. ethanol producers would be wise to heed that lesson.

I got quite a few responses to the essay highlighting the issue of subsidized ethanol exports. I also read a number of quotes from the ethanol lobby that either 1). Flatly denied that any ethanol was collecting subsidies and leaving the country; 2). Stated that the practice was illegal; or 3). Claimed to know nothing of this.

In fact, someone working for one of the state Renewable Fuels Associations wrote to inform me that I need to get my facts straight. He challenged two of my arguments. I had written that there would be no ethanol available for export if E85 was more price-competitive with gasoline since it would all be consumed in the U.S.

In response he claimed that the issue was access and not price, claiming “Ethanol costs less than oil, even without the tax credit.” As I pointed out in my response back to him, “Ethanol for April delivery on the CBOT is $2.45 per gallon, meaning it currently costs $32 per million BTU. Oil at $100 per barrel is $17 per million BTU. (For reference, gasoline for April delivery is $2.91, or $24.43 per million BTU). Price is in fact the reason E85 sales have been tepid in the Midwest; the price differential between E85 and gasoline isn’t consistently wide enough to compensate for the loss of fuel economy.

But he also claimed that if the traders quoted in the FT article were telling the truth, then those exporters were breaking the law. He accused me of irresponsible reporting and using anecdotal evidence for quoting the FT article, suggesting that the sources were questionable. I pressed him for the specific law that is being broken in this case, and he essentially told me to go read the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publications and to please refrain from speculating that any taxpayer-subsidized ethanol is being exported.

The Legality of Collecting Ethanol Credits on Blended Exports

In fact, there is no law preventing exporters from collecting the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) prior to shipping ethanol out of the country. The code detailing the ethanol tax credits can be found in Section 6426 of the internal revenue code at:

Credit for alcohol fuel, biodiesel, and alternative fuel mixtures

Section 6426 (b) defines the alcohol fuel mixture credit and section (i) limits the credits to fuels with connection to the United States. Any ethanol produced and blended in the United States is obviously connected to the United States, and thus can collect the VEETC. There is no stipulation that after collecting the VEETC, the ethanol blend must remain in the U.S. So anyone asserting that the practice is illegal is either being disingenuous,  or are ignorant of the law. If an ethanol proponent wants to still assert that the practice is illegal, they need to point to the specific code that prevents someone from buying ethanol, blending it with some gasoline, collecting the tax credit, and then exporting the mixture to Europe.

I contacted Christoph Berg, who was quoted in the Financial Times article, about the issue. He responded:

The VEETC only applies when ethanol is blended with gasoline, so it would apply to exports of gasoline/ethanol fuel blends. Furthermore, the VEETC only applies to exports of gasoline/ethanol fuel blends containing domestically-produced ethanol. This restriction is in Title II, section 203 of PL 110-43 and resulted from the backlash about biodiesel “splash and dash” exports to the EU.

Therefore it is not illegal to export ethanol-gasoline blends.

He added that they do have records of ethanol that is being exported and collecting the subsidies on both ends, but said there are discrepancies between official export statistics and shipping reports by brokers. Data from the EIA also shows that despite the high level of U.S. dependence on petroleum imports, finished motor gasoline is being exported out of the U.S. Ethanol blends are considered finished motor gasoline.

The Outcome – It’s Just a Matter of Time

And just as I warned, producers in Europe are now considering legal action to stop the practice:

EU bioethanol group weighs U.S. subsidy lawsuit

Producers such as Germany’s CropEnergies and Spain’s Abengoa are gathering data on tax credits granted by the U.S. government to U.S. firms that blend ethanol with gasoline. They say the tax break squeezes the margins of competing European producers when the resulting blend is exported to the EU.

“By the end of the month we should know where we stand and whether we have a case that’s strong enough to take to the Commission,” Rob Vierhout, secretary-general of ePURE, an industry group representing firms that make up 80 percent of European bioethanol production, told Reuters.

“European producers are struggling with these imports that put pressure on prices.”

The article also quoted RFA spokesman Matt Harwig:

“While the complaints of the European ethanol industry are understandable, their angst is misguided at U.S. ethanol tax policy,” said Matt Hartwig, spokesman for the U.S.-based Renewable Fuels Association.

“It remains unclear if any additional volumes of ethanol are flowing into Europe under this particular tariff schedule. EU nations have yet to provide any data and we have not seen any to date that suggests this is happening at above normal levels.”

Those are interesting comments. Phrases like “it remains unclear”, “any additional volumes”, and “above normal levels” are probably about as close as the RFA will ever come to admitting that they are aware that it is happening.

Conclusions

Here is what I think. Ethanol is in fact being blended with gasoline in the U.S., benefiting from tax policy that has been defended on the basis of helping to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, and then being shipped to foreign countries in increasing volumes. I think the ethanol lobbies know that this is happening, which is why you see the sort of carefully worded language Hartwig used above.

This issue highlights one reason I could never be an ethanol lobbyist. I could only say what Hartwig said if I was truly ignorant of the situation, and the only way I could be truly ignorant of the situation was if I avoided looking into it. In fact, I would look into it, so my statement would read more like “We are aware of a growing volume of ethanol that is taking advantage of both U.S. and European ethanol policies. We feel that this is unfair to U.S. taxpayers and against the intent of U.S. ethanol policies, and we urge legislation that would put an end to this practice so that our ethanol might fulfill the purpose it was designed to fulfill.” And that would be the end of my career as an ethanol lobbyist.

To be completely fair to the U.S. ethanol industry, even though this practice benefits them at the expense of U.S. taxpayers, there may be nothing they can do about it since they do not collect the tax credit. If someone wants to buy ethanol from them, they sell it to them. If the buyer then turns around and games U.S. tax policy by collecting the VEETC and exporting the ethanol after mixing it with gasoline, the ethanol industry is probably not in a position to stop that unless they simply refused to sell to companies that are suspected of these practices.

I also have heard some ethanol supporters agree — even within the ethanol lobby — that if subsidized ethanol is being exported that this needs to stop. I would hope to see the ethanol industry take the lead in investigating the practice and in urging legislation to stop it — instead of claiming that “it remains unclear.” In the short term, it will cost the ethanol industry some sales. In the longer term, it will prevent a public backlash and avoid having this matter decided by the EU courts.

Footnotes

Two things are probably important to note. First, it is true that unblended ethanol that is exported can’t qualify for the VEETC. So the export numbers on pure ethanol do not represent ethanol that has benefited from U.S. tax credits. But the export numbers on pure ethanol do not reflect ethanol/gasoline mixtures that have been exported — and this does qualify under current law for the VEETC.

Second, if the ethanol industry wishes to produce more ethanol than the market in the U.S. can bear and then export it, then it is their right to do so — provided that ethanol is not being subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. I have heard ethanol producers claim that the U.S. market is saturated, and this therefore justifies the export of ethanol. My view on that is that as long as the ethanol is being subsidized, they should have no reason to expect perpetually growing markets courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. If the U.S. market is saturated, then 1). Stop expanding ethanol production; 2). Grow the E85 market; or 3). Grow the export market, but do so without taxpayer assistance.

  1. By paul-n on March 22, 2011 at 1:59 am

    Interesting stuff – so once it is blended and the credit claimed, no one can really track it or control it?  It really is quite a loophole.  

    I would think that the US government (the bureaucrats, if not the elected reps) has enough experience in writing subsidy/trade legislation to not allow loopholes like this to be in there by accident.  They had the “money for nothin’” one with pulp mills and black liquor, the biodiesel credit, and now this – I can’t believe they made the same “mistake” three times, I think it got in there by design.

    The fact that the RFA can’t confirm whether exports are happening is irrelevant.  What is relevant is that the law allows this to happen, and whether they agree with it or not – I’m sure I can guess what their reaction would be to closing the loophole…

    It is just another reason why I think they VEETC should be applied at the pump – it is almost impossible to game that system, and ensures that all the subsidised ethanol is being used by those who paid for the subsidy in the first place.

     

    I really should start up a business importing E85 into Canada.  That way we can burn the US subsidised ethanol, while saving oil, so that we can export more of it to China  (which is Canada’s fastest growing oil export market).  

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  2. By Walt on March 22, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Robert Rapier said:

    In fact, there is no law preventing exporters from collecting the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) prior to shipping ethanol out of the country. The code detailing the ethanol tax credits can be found in Section 6426 of the internal revenue code at:

    Credit for alcohol fuel, biodiesel, and alternative fuel mixtures

    Section 6426 (b) defines the alcohol fuel mixture credit and section (i) limits the credits to fuels with connection to the United States. Any ethanol produced and blended in the United States is obviously connected to the United States, and thus can collect the VEETC. There is no stipulation that after collecting the VEETC, the ethanol blend must remain in the U.S. So anyone asserting that the practice is illegal is either being disingenuous,  or are ignorant of the law. If an ethanol proponent wants to still assert that the practice is illegal, they need to point to the specific code that prevents someone from buying ethanol, blending it with some gasoline, collecting the tax credit, and then exporting the mixture to Europe.


     

    If the credit only applies to blending with gasoline, I wonder if methanol would be workable under Pauls suggestion to approach fleet owners?

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  3. By Walt on March 22, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Robert Rapier said:

    This issue highlights one reason I could never be an ethanol lobbyist. I could only say what Hartwig said if I was truly ignorant of the situation, and the only way I could be truly ignorant of the situation was if I avoided looking into it. In fact, I would look into it, so my statement would read more like “We are aware of a growing volume of ethanol that is taking advantage of both U.S. and European ethanol policies. We feel that this is unfair to U.S. taxpayers and against the intent of U.S. ethanol policies, and we urge legislation that would put an end to this practice so that our ethanol might fulfill the purpose it was designed to fulfill.” And that would be the end of my career as an ethanol lobbyist.


     

    How true.  It makes one’s stomach turn knowing that the whole system is just messed up.  The only way often to get anything out of Washington is one has to twist and turn and distort every comment to insure you keep your job.  In fact, like the complaints made in LA about the massive number of judges taking kickbacks, the lawyer got locked up in solitary for 18 months.  He is out now, and the last I saw finally getting a few other lawyers coming forward to also challenge these judges, but it is an extremely high price.  The system is broken folks…speak out and get hammered.

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  4. By Walt on March 22, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Robert Rapier said:

    My view on that is that as long as the ethanol is being subsidized, they should have no reason to expect perpetually growing markets courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. If the U.S. market is saturated, then 1). Stop expanding ethanol production; 2). Grow the E85 market; or 3). Grow the export market, but do so without taxpayer assistance.


     

    #2 is not going to happen in my opinion.  The auto companies and oil companies refuse to support the Open Fuel Standard Act.  I studied much about this last year, and this seems like the only possibility…IF the $200 per vehicle cost would create all new vehicles flex fuel.

    http://www.energyvictory.net/i…..rd_Act.PDF

     

    I know that the $6,000 per pump cost to upgrade to E85 is not going to be paid by retailers…whether oil company owned, or privately owned.  It is too much per pump, and the margins are so small on gasoline sales for retailers it is not fair to “force them” to pay this cost.  It might be an wise investment IF the Open Fuel Standard Act was passed, but that seems unlikely.  It has been stopped several times…and I don’t see #2 being possible above.

     

    The only solution lies in #1 and #3.  I recommend #3 as China will blend it.  They are now moving to bring into America cheap methanol and I certainly cannot compete with their prices.  They are expanding methanol production for exports, often subsidies by their government, and so they will definitely get some local American customers to sign up.  It they find the oil industry customers here (some sort of deal for gas producers to access China markets) there will be a massive deal for methanol exporters in China to the USA.  Ethanol producers might be able to gain in China on some sort of deal if China needs to volumes.  Africa is another possibility.  #1 would be possible, but it certainly would hurt like it did with the biodiesel producers.  There are still plants idle and so petroleum based diesel and gasoline might be the only solution for a long-time.

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  5. By Walt on March 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Paul N said:

    It is just another reason why I think they VEETC should be applied at the pump – it is almost impossible to game that system, and ensures that all the subsidised ethanol is being used by those who paid for the subsidy in the first place.  


     

    Paul, I think this is the best solution.  Move this credit to the retailers.  $1.00 per gallon would really make a difference, and would absolutely give them the incentive to consider both fixing their old pumps, and upgrading to E85 pumps.  Further, maybe at the local level communities would then get behind the Open Fuels Standard Act.  I know it is going to infuriate government owned GM and the other auto companies, and really going to infuriate the oil companies, but at least they can say they are getting paid taxpayer money to upgrade their corporate stations with these new pump improvements.  The oil companies are going to complain…I know, I work with several of them every day.  They are complaining all the time they are not making enough money, and they are furious about the EPA air regs coming.  They are moving to write legislation at the State levels to block all the EPA rules on CO2 and methane emissions reporting…so I know they are not happy.

     

    If we give them the tax credit at the retail station…it would really make a difference.  The traders would be upset, and probably stop blending if they are making the money, but ADM and Cargill are probably the one’s making all the money on these exports & credits.  The traders on Wallstreet, Chicago or Houston can just keep crying as far as I’m concerned if it is taken from them and given to retailers.  They will find something else to make a killing on in commodities…like they are complaining now???  Hardly.

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  6. By the long shot on March 22, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Ethanol is being exported unsubsidised and subsidised. 400 mln gallons were exported in 2010 unsubsidised according to the Census bureau. Census codes are tough to follow but I do follow them. The hard part is tracking the E90 shipments, Bob Dineen has denied E85 and subsidised ethanol exports but he has not specifically denied e90 which is approved to go to several european nations. The problem with tracking E90 is we have yet to identify how the EIA tracks it. Its not in “Other Oxygenates”, or Finished Fuels, or “Oxygenate” yet the balance between what we know is used in the US and what we produce is out of balance. We are at the “blend wall” that is for sure and demand for gasoline is below 1 year ago and two year ago metrics so an increased ethanol production has to go somewhere. One other item… Exported ethanol, in pure form, must be manufactured for export specifically because the grade accepted by the importing countries is of different spec than what we ship domestically. Thus a plant must retool to make its ethanol export ready.

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  7. By Gilbert on March 22, 2011 at 11:37 am

    “Ethanol for April delivery on the CBOT is $2.45 per gallon, meaning it currently costs $32 per million BTU. Oil at $100 per barrel is $17 per million BTU.

    You can’t put crude oil in your car, so this comparison is not appropriate. You have to compare ethanol to gasoline, where ethanol is in fact cheaper. Overall a thoughtful article.

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  8. By Benny BND Cole on March 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Excellent, truly first-rate reportage by RR. Kudos and bravo!

    Oh what a tangled web we weave–when we begin susidizing any industry, especially a rural industry. The subsidies become permanently enmeshed into the economic fabric, and impossible (politically) to ever eradicate. So more and more fables are told to justify the subsidies.

    I dearly hope at some point we eliminate all subsidies in our domestic economy, including and especially ethanol. We may wish to tax imported energy to foster domestic production, but that i about as far as I am willing to go.

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  9. By dave olson on March 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Can’t speak of ethanol without mentioning the ramfications to the food supply. The tax payers are paying more for increased food prices than they are to fill their fuel tanks. This is right up there with Global warming mandates and powerful entities and people benefiting financially.

    2nd I think that urban lawyers should pay for court time and quit living off of subsidised legal systems.

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  10. By rrapier on March 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Gilbert said:

    “Ethanol for April delivery on the CBOT is $2.45 per gallon, meaning it currently costs $32 per million BTU. Oil at $100 per barrel is $17 per million BTU.

    You can’t put crude oil in your car, so this comparison is not appropriate. You have to compare ethanol to gasoline, where ethanol is in fact cheaper. Overall a thoughtful article.


     

    Gilbert, the comment was in direct response to the claim by someone at the Iowa RFA. That is a direct quote from him: Ethanol is cheaper than oil. But if we look at gasoline, it is still true. Ethanol on the CBOT is $2.48 and gasoline is $2.91 — both for April delivery. That works out to be $32.63 per million BTU for ethanol and $24.43 per million BTU for gasoline.

    RR

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  11. By Russ Finley on March 22, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Should not be allowed to export when use is mandated and blending is subsidized …IMHO.

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  12. By paul-n on March 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I quite agree Russ – For the ethanol industry, the mandate and VEETC is what the American people “pay” their industry to exist, for the nominal purpose of reducing oil imports.  I think it is quite reasonable  for the quid pro quo to be that the stuff can;t be exported.

     

    If the ethanol industry wants to be free to export as much as they want, then the American people should be free to use as little as they want, and not subsidise the exports – the industry can’t have it both ways.

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  13. By Optimist on March 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Great article, RR!
    I guess those rugged individualists in the Midwest just want to be left alone to enjoy their federal subsidies, already!
    Nice job exposing the speak-with-fork-tongue RFA too.

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  14. By Optimist on March 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    RR,
    Are you aware that the House voted to block E15 from gas pumps? Old news by now, but still. Perhaps democracy works, afterall…

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  15. By PeteS on March 23, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    O/T: Cheaper oil from tar sands?… or another one that won’t make it out of the lab?

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re…..174921.htm

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  16. By paul-n on March 24, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Pete, like anything else, it will have to prove itself.  As far as the Canadian oilsands go, if it works better than their current process (steam) then that;s great for the surface minim projects.  But almost all of the new projects in the oilsands are deep, insitu extraction, and it looks like you couldn’t use this process there, or at the very least you would have some serious groundwater contamination issues to deal with.

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  17. By Jason on March 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I believe you are correct in your assumption that ethanol is being blended with gasoline and then shipped to Europe. The IRS should close this loophole, or Congress should simply end VEETC (Price comparison between ethanol and gasoline show it isn’t needed anyways).

    This export market for US ethanol has opened up since Brazilian ethanol is more expensive than US ethanol. As a matter of fact, Brazil is becoming an importer of ethanol despite UNICA’s misleading statements regarding federal (Brazil has state imposed) tariffs in the US and Brazil.

    I would only challenge your assertion that based on mileage (20-30%) the cost of oil vs. ethanol shows ethanol at a disadvantage of $15. You ignore the octane boost of ethanol, as well as the refiner’s benefit from this boost (RBOB vs. CBOB). But this is a silly point to argue, as E85 is a poor market for US ethanol because this mileage hit, that is unless we turn to a Brazilian market and actually alter automobile production to utilize smaller engines for better mileage with comparable horsepower using ethanol’s high octane. But read on for a better solution…

    Perhaps your only other comment that I believe is uninformed is that the solution to ethanol is to stop growing, grow E85 sales domestically, or grow the export market.

    Why shouldn’t the ethanol industry and the US citizens/gov’t develop an e-15 – e-20 market? We all talk about needing cellulosic ethanol, but we know it will never develop without market access, and it won’t be price competitive with first generation corn ethanol when it first turns commercial. Furthermore, ethanol is currently reducing the price of gasoline (without a mileage hit) by about 30 cents per gallon (which is likely to go up even further with rising oil prices). This number is based on current prices, and takes into account refining benefit from high octane content of ethanol. Also note this number takes into account VEETC, so once it expires, this number will likely be closer to 25 cents/gallon.

    Good article.

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  18. By Jason on March 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    dave olson said:

    Can’t speak of ethanol without mentioning the ramfications to the food supply. The tax payers are paying more for increased food prices than they are to fill their fuel tanks. This is right up there with Global warming mandates and powerful entities and people benefiting financially.

    2nd I think that urban lawyers should pay for court time and quit living off of subsidised legal systems.


    Dave,

    I believe you are misguided in your understanding on ethanol production’s ramifications to food supply. This argument often ignores many important facts. The most valuable aspect of corn (the kind being used in ethanol plants) to the food supply (that being protein) is maintained through the ethanol production process and still sold as a feed product, Distillers Grain. Meanwhile, ethanol significantly reduces the price of gasoline, and has been found to be one of the smallest culprits in rising food prices (see the CBO study on rising food prices in 2008 http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/100…..thanol.pdf ). As a matter of fact, transportation, packaging, and energy costs are amongst the largest input costs to producing your box of Kellogg’s and other food products that utilize a small portion of corn.

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  19. By rrapier on March 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Jason said:

    I would only challenge your assertion that based on mileage (20-30%) the cost of oil vs. ethanol shows ethanol at a disadvantage of $15. You ignore the octane boost of ethanol, as well as the refiner’s benefit from this boost (RBOB vs. CBOB).


     

    I am not ignoring anything. The comment was that ethanol was cheaper than oil. That is false. And plenty of studies, including this one from NREL, have shown “a loss in fuel economy commensurate with the energy density of the fuel.” Now it is true that we could build out higher compression engines and not suffer as drastic a mileage drop, but we have to work with what we have at the moment. And right now the way we have to evaluate is based on the cars that are on the road.

    Why shouldn’t the ethanol industry and the US citizens/gov’t develop an e-15 – e-20 market?

    The main reason is as I stated in the article. The country is full of cars and infrastructures that aren’t designed for those levels. It would be a lot easier and more cost-effective to make Iowa E85 compatible than to make the entire country E15 compatible.

    RR

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  20. By Wendell Mercantile on March 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    The most valuable aspect of corn (the kind being used in ethanol plants) to the food supply (that being protein) is maintained through the ethanol production process and still sold as a feed product, Distillers Grain.

    Jason,

    By George, I believe you’re on to something. You and Bob Dinneen only need convince the American population that eating distillers grains for breakfast is tastier than bacon and eggs — or even healthier than a whole wheat bagel and yogurt made with organic milk from grass-fed, free-range cows. Or if you could just get Starbucks to come up with a tasty recipe for distillers grains muffins to sell with their coffee, think how the market for DDG would explode. Why, there would probably be a Starbucks next to every ethanol plant.

    And better yet, if the starving people of Third and Fourth World countries can be made to acquire a taste for distillers grains….

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  21. By paul-n on March 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    convince the American population that eating distillers grains for breakfast is tastier 

    Kellogg’s DDG flakes?  Cap’n DDG?  DDG Krispies?  The McDDG? I guess the marketing experts will be able to make it work, given some of the other stuff that passes as cereal.  They will, of course, add so much sugar as to negate the health benefits of a zero sugar cereal.

    Actually a (very) small Canadian company is being successful marketing a cereal made from processing remnants – but not corn, they use hemp seed hearts (http:www//holycrap.ca/).   It does actually make a good tasting addition to oatmeal, and despite the eye-watering price ($12 for 1/2lb), is the cheapest hemp anything you can (legally) buy.  It is, of course, made from the non hallucinogenic industrial hemp – though many people mistakenly think otherwise.

     

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  22. By paul-n on April 3, 2011 at 5:19 am

    US ethanol exports projected to hit 500m gal next year!

     

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/…..9A20110331

     

    Wonder if they’ll blend to E85 to get that credit?  500m gal *$0.43 = $213m for sending it offshore – while increasing oil consumption at home – great value for the US taxpayer. 

     

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  23. By Walt on April 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Interesting article:

    http://www.iwatchnews.org/2011…..t-biofuels

     

    “According to IRS records, the ethanol group Growth Energy paid
    Gingrich’s consulting firm $312,500 in 2009.The former House Speaker was
    the organization’s top-paid consultant, according to the records. His
    pay was one of the group’s largest single expenditures, as it took in
    and spent about $11 million to promote ethanol and to lobby for federal
    incentives for its use.”

     

    I can see why when I mention methanol over ethanol people want to throw corn kernels at me! :)   Show me the money stupid.

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