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Posts tagged “ethanol”

By Robert Rapier on Mar 9, 2011 with 191 responses

What You Aren’t Being Told About Ethanol and Corrosion

Good Ideas Gone Bad History is littered with examples of ideas that seemed to be good for a while, but were later discovered to have unpleasant consequences. The pharmaceutical industry is full of cases of promising drugs that went through testing, received FDA approval, and then when they were rolled out on a large scale were found to have serious side effects. In the energy business, for example, the addition of MTBE to the fuel supply at one time seemed like a good idea. It served as an oxygenate and provided another market for natural gas, but as we now know there were negative consequences. Indeed, it is possible that with the benefit of hindsight, we will decide that hydraulic… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 22, 2011 with 67 responses

EPA Expands E15 Decree

This week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the use of 15% ethanol fuel blends (E15) for 2001-2006 model year cars: EPA Grants E15 Fuel Waiver for Model Years 2001 – 2006 Cars and Light Trucks WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today waived a limitation on selling gasoline that contains more than 10 percent ethanol for model year (MY) 2001 through 2006 passenger vehicles, including cars, SUVs, and light pickup trucks. The waiver applies to fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol – known as E15. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson made the decision after a review of the Department of Energy’s thorough testing and other available data on E15’s effect on emissions from MY 2001… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 12, 2011 with 31 responses

Range Fuels Out of Money?

It is no secret that I have been a critic of Range Fuels — not necessarily of their technology but of their approach. I won’t rehash all of the issues I have had with the company; in a nutshell I felt they like were making claims that were very unreasonable, and taking in a lot of taxpayer money based on those claims. As a taxpayer and someone very concerned about energy policy, I spoke out on what I felt were serious deficiencies in the way projects get funded; namely that the companies that make the most outrageous claims are too often the ones that get funded. I also had my critics who insisted that I didn’t know what I was… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 6, 2011 with 123 responses

Ethanol Exports Increase Dependence on Foreign Oil

Near the end of my recent post documenting some of the antics of various ethanol interests, I wrote the following: “As always, I invite a response from ethanol interests or readers who wish to dispute my points. If someone wishes to engage on these points, the floor is open, and I am open to publishing any feedback.” Someone did respond, albeit not directly to me. A reader recently alerted me to the following article written by Brian Westenhaus at the New Energy and Fuel blog: A Look At The Ethanol Lies Let’s start with a lie, albeit most likely the lowest level of lie, everyone is lying about ethanol.  It has gotten so that the lies are pervasive, even such… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 23, 2010 with 140 responses

Who’s Been Naughty? Ethanol Interests

The previous essay spoke of the selfishness of many of today’s political leaders in spending tax dollars for votes, while compromising the economic opportunities for the next generation. In this essay, I want to focus on the selfishness of a particular group: Ethanol special interests, who have succeeded in gouging taxpayers for another $6 billion in wasteful spending in 2011. Let me make it clear — again — that I am not against ethanol as fuel. In fact, I have spoken out many times in favor of ethanol in specific circumstances. I reiterated this position recently on a Podcast interview on This Week in Energy. For example, I think many areas of the Midwest could produce ethanol sustainably, use it… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 8, 2010 with 57 responses

How the RFA Wastes Your Tax Dollars – Part II: Blatant Dishonesty and a Debate Challenge

In Part I we saw that the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) pays for shoddy studies and then cites them to fear-monger into getting more tax dollars. Hypocritically, when they are challenged with a critical point on ethanol, they attempt to cast doubt by questioning the source of funding from the challenger (as shown here). Here in Part II, I will show that the RFA is guilty of misrepresentation so blatant that it can only be called dishonesty. Perhaps the biggest irony in all of this is that our tax dollars via the ethanol subsidies keep groups like the RFA in business. The circle goes like this: Tax dollars and mandates create and support an ethanol industry. Some of the money… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 6, 2010 with 28 responses

How the RFA Wastes Your Tax Dollars – Part I: How Much is a Job Worth?

Over the next two posts, I will examine some of the tactics used by the Renewable Fuels Association to justify keeping the $6 billion ethanol subsidy that was made almost entirely redundant when the the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was passed into law in  2005. Not satisfied with a market that is mandated by law to grow by 25% between now and 2015, the ethanol lobby insists that they need the subsidies as well. As I will show, they have no qualms about deceiving people to get their way. In this post, I will cover a tactic that the RFA has previously condemned in others: Paying for self-serving research. I will also show that the amount of taxpayer money they… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 26, 2010 with 130 responses

Taxpayer Subsidized Ethanol Exports May Bite Industry in the Future

Ulterior Motives Behind the Ethanol Pipeline? Ethanol producers in the Midwest have lobbied for support to build a pipeline to ship their ethanol to the East Coast. As I have argued, given that the market for ethanol is nowhere close to being saturated in the Midwest (a large E85 market in the Midwest could consume all of the ethanol produced there), it would seem to be a better allocation of resources to build up the E85 market rather than try to export ethanol from the Midwest. However, some have claimed that the real reason ethanol producers want the pipeline is so they can export ethanol out of the country. They argued that U.S. taxpayers would end up subsidizing ethanol exports… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 22, 2010 with 127 responses

Addressing the Ethanol Rhetoric Over the Expiring VEETC

The Ethanol Rhetoric Ramps Up It has been interesting to watch the flurry of ethanol rhetoric since the recent elections. With the $0.45 per gallon subsidy (called the VEETC) and the ethanol tariffs both set to expire at the end of next month, both sides feel that there is a lot at stake, and they have really ramped up the rhetoric. One side will claim that ethanol is the greatest thing since sliced bread, then the other side claims it is an environmental disaster. Around and around the claims go. Misinformation abounds. Mortgaging the Future I am not going to argue in this essay that U.S. ethanol policy is good or bad, but I am going to argue that extending… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 5, 2010 with 75 responses

The Stroke of a Pen

Bob Dinneen wants Congress to extend ethanol tax credits with “a stroke of the pen, a little bit of Whiteout, just change the date.”