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Ethanol, A Bad Deal for Everyone (Except Big Ag)

By Robert Sproul follow Robert Sproul   2013 Nov 15, 12:03pm 2,492 views   8 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


But Obama loves it!
CBS and AP finally catch on to what an absurdly bad idea ethanol is. While the minority that is paying any attention at all frets about GMO,s Big Agra destroys Americas farmland and aquifers with this Mother Of All Boondogles.

Who is Obama's Secretary of Agriculture? Maybe a PHD in Agronomy with a strong background in environmental issues, since agriculture is the number one cause of environmental destruction in the world?
Nah, he picked a cheese ball lawyer and ex governor of Iowa who is firmly in the pocket of Big Ag.
Payed-for politicians and well meaning dim bulbs, too low wattage to look ahead and see a galaxy of unintended consequences, are destroying the most productive farmland in the world.

From the article:

""This is an ecological disaster," said Craig Cox with the Environmental Working Group, a natural ally of the president that, like others, now finds itself at odds with the White House."

"Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota, a major ethanol booster and now chair of the DuPont Advisory Committee on Agriculture Innovation and Productivity." Ha, Ha, Ha….. the slimy prick landed in a big pile of loot.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57611891/making-corn-based-ethanol-badly-hurting-environment-ap/
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/timeline-recent-ethanol-events-20858942?singlePage=true

TL;DR Monsanto et al, and politicians make out. People and the environment get screwed.

#politics

1   New Renter   ignore (11)   2013 Nov 15, 2:56pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Look at the bright side - more corn whiskey for everyone!

2   HEY YOU   ignore (9)   2016 Aug 30, 7:26am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Too bad that Rep/Con/Teas haven't stop crap in gas,since they have fought tooth & nail since ethanol was added to gasoline. It's always been their first order of business to prevent the addition of ethanol in each session of Congress. R/C/Ts have never taken a dime from ethanol related lobbies. These are stand-up STATESMEN!
They are doing a great job because the Republican voters demand a change,especially the Republican corn growers.
Republicans are looking out for America.

How many Republicans raise ethanol corn?
None! They wouldn't be caught participating in such a sham.

I be lovin' me some hypocrisy!

3   zzyzzx   ignore (2)   2016 Aug 30, 7:28am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Thread title is misleading. Ethanol is actually a really great idea if you can make it out of some type of waste material. It's when you grow corn to make it, then it sucks.

4   FNWGMOBDVZXDNW   ignore (2)   2016 Aug 30, 7:40am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

anonymous says

Donald Trump, who has promised to defend the mandate.

Under what premise could he justify defending the mandate? It was put in place based on the idea that biofuels would lower greenhouse gases, which is generally true.
On the other hand, it increases fertilizer emissions into the Mississippi and Gulf region, increases corn and soy prices, and causes cutting down of the rain-forest to grow more soybeans. If you think global warming is a hoax, you should not be in favor of first gen biofuels, as the current technology stands.

5   FNWGMOBDVZXDNW   ignore (2)   2016 Aug 30, 7:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

zzyzzx says

It's when you grow corn to make it, then it sucks.

It's when you grow it out of corn with current technology. It doesn't have to be making it out of a waste material either, though. It could be out of a newer technology (modify microbes to work in a higher ethanol content, utilize cellulosic parts, etc.) or growing a different plant.

6   bob2356   ignore (4)   2016 Aug 30, 8:22am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

YesYNot says

It was put in place based on the idea that biofuels would lower greenhouse gases, which is generally true.

Too funny. It was put in place based on the idea that ag corporations in the corn belt could make a lot more money. Luckily no genuine republican would be in favor of an artificial demand-creating, crony-capitalism measure like the Renewable Fuel Standard. They are firm believers in the free market. Oh wait a minute, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was a republican bill passed by a republican president. Never mind.

7   zzyzzx   ignore (2)   2016 Aug 30, 8:31am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

YesYNot says

It's when you grow it out of corn with current technology. It doesn't have to be making it out of a waste material either, though. It could be out of a newer technology (modify microbes to work in a higher ethanol content, utilize cellulosic parts, etc.) or growing a different plant.

True, but is that even being done on a large scale? I assume that you were referring to switchgrass. I suppose one could use weeds.

8   FNWGMOBDVZXDNW   ignore (2)   2016 Aug 30, 8:58am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

Too funny. It was put in place based on the idea that ag corporations in the corn belt could make a lot more money. Luckily no genuine republican would be in favor of an artificial demand-creating, crony-capitalism measure like the Renewable Fuel Standard.

I agree that it was in part for that. There are lots of motivations in lots of different people. Trying to say it was all one thing or another is silly. That's why there is no line item veto. Congress uses legislation to bribe enough people to get onboard with a bill to get it passed. The original bill required something like a 20% reduction in GHG for 1st gen and a 40 or 50% reduction for 2nd gen. The problem is that it is hard to know exactly what the reduction is, because it relies on a lot of accounting assumptions for how emissions are allocated to coproducts, and whether or not and how to account for 2ndary effects caused by increased prices.

zzyzzx says

True, but is that even being done on a large scale?

Corn is the only one done on a large scale in the US. Sugarcane is used on a large scale elsewhere. Switchgrass has been studied as have other things like miscanthus. I'm sure people have looked at sorghum as well, but that would probably not look so good unless you were concerned with irrigation issues. I think that 'other crops' will only become important with genetic engineering. My guess is that genetic engineering of the microbes to withstand higher alcohol content, maybe membrane technology to separate water and ethanol, or new microbes that can convert cellulosic material to ethanol efficiently could make the difference. Cellulosic can also be done with gassification followed by catalytic or bio conversion of off gasses, and can start with unused forest biomass as well as more traditional waste biomass.

I don't mind subsidizing these technologies to some extent, b/c oil is heavily subsidized as well, mostly in the form of wars and environmental problems. I do think that corn was subsidized to a high degree too much too early for political reasons. It would have been better to spend some of that money on research.


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