Ethanol blended with gasoline has been around for a number of years. Most of you are forced by our benevolent government to buy gasoline blended with up to 15% ethanol. Ethanol/gasoline blenders receive large subsidies from our benevolent government which you get to pay for when you buy your gasoline. Because ethanol is primarily produced from corn or sugar cane (in the US it’s corn) you also get to pay more for food products that use corn and because corn is also used in animal feed, you get to pay more for meat and poultry.
Maybe it was because of the impact that ethanol from corn has on food prices, somebody came up with the bright idea to produce ethanol from non-food plants materials; such as, wood chips and grass clippings. Ethanol produced from non-food plant materials is called “cellulosic ethanol”. Our benevolent government’s Environmental
Punishment Protection Agency (EPA) thought Cellulosic ethanol was such a great idea that they ordered all US refineries to blend a certain amount of cellulosic ethanol into their gasoline or else pay a fine. And, that brings us to today¡s story.
From Fox News:
Federal regulations can be maddening, but none more so than a current one that demands oil refiners use millions of gallons of a substance, cellulosic ethanol, that does not exist.
“As ludicrous as that sounds, it’s fact,” says Charles Drevna, who represents refiners. “If it weren’t so frustrating and infuriating, it would be comical.”
Refiners are at their wit’s end because the government set out requirements to blend cellulosic ethanol back in 2005, assuming that someone would make it. Seven years later, no one has.
“None, not one drop of cellulosic ethanol has been produced commercially. It’s a phantom fuel,” says Pyle. “It doesn’t exist in the market place.”
“Why would they ask them to blend any at all if it doesn’t exist?” Pyle said. “Because they know that they can squeeze some extra dollars out of them.”
“We are going to reduce your blending obligation by 98 percent because we feel that that’s the right thing to do,” says Brooke Coleman, the executive director of the Advanced Ethanol Council of the Renewable Fuels Association. “We are going to maintain your blending obligation on the gallons that we think are going to emerge.”
There’s more that is worth reading. “So the refiners are now suing the EPA, in part because the mandate gets larger and larger– 500 million gallons this year, 3 billion in 2015 and 16 billion in 2022.”
So, why do think the Environmental
Punishment Protection Agency was so sure there would be plenty of cellulosic ethanol for the refiners to use? I bet you have already guessed the correct answer, Our benevolent government has, since at least the GW Bush administration, been handing out loan guarantees. And, as also might have guessed, there have been some failures.
Range Fuels Inc., a cellulosic ethanol company backed by as much as $156 million in U.S. loans and grants from President George W. Bush’s administration, is being forced by the government to liquidate its only factory after failing to produce the fuel.
The closely held company, which counts Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems Inc. co-founder, as an initial investor, shuttered the factory in Soperton, Georgia, in January after not delivering on its promise to convert woodchips into ethanol, which was intended to help the U.S. become less dependent on foreign oil.
Soperton’s failure comes after Solyndra LLC, a solar-panel maker that received a $535 million federal loan guarantee, filed for bankruptcy in September. The ethanol project received $46.3 million of a $76 million grant from the Energy Department and half of an $80 million loan from the Agriculture Department, according to each department.
Let me do some speculating here as to why cellulosic ethanol producers are asking for more government support. My guess would be that collecting dead wood and grass clippings and what not and hauling them to processing plant and producing cellulosic ethanol and then hauling it to refiners is consuming more energy than the cellulosic ethanol contains. Why would our benevolent government be a party to such nonsense? In part it is because our benevolent government has since the days of Bill Clinton bought into the global warming scam. I would also speculate that some powerful people in our benevolent government want to help their friend and/or themselves to get very rich off of some of these schemes (Think Al Gore and George Soros). Do yo really think people like John Kerry and his rich French cousin are pushing so hard for America to buy into the UN’s Rio +20 agenda because they are so concerned about the world’s environment or is it that they have plans to become even richer at your expense? Then maybe I am a cynic and paranoid.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?