This is great time to make a move against the crazy Ethanol Mandate with drastic rise in food prices showing the bad impact for both the oil industry and the agriculture industry. And Texas is the best choice for location – the fact that it is one 3 major consumers of Ethanol but is also one of the major beef producing state whose feed prices are feeling the brunt of corn use impacts.
But we don’t need just a “knock-down – we need a TKO on this”! I think the waiver is bad idea – the timing & condition is right to make a more decisive change on the stupid mandate by Bush administration for higher (20%) use & the premature use of ethanol that was knee jerk response by politicians to a complex problem. What really needs to happen is that any future major use ethanol needs to be tied not to Corn but to the development of commercial cellulose applications.
All the arguments for Ethanol’s use (outside Corn growers lobby that is) rest firmly on the use of waste products / cellulose materials to produce it. It is huge waste of taxpayer money to subsidize a bad application that is not a better environmental solution nor an energy cost solution. And this jump start trying to use corn is causing a disaster (as Environmental sponsored solutions usually do) in not only the Oil industry but the Agricultural industry as well. Feedstock cost & food prices are up over 60% already at just a 10% blend application (that has half the cost born by taxpayers) – there was never a chance for grain or sugar application to take it to the mandated 20% level.
This time it isn’t just a big cost burden that the environmental & political groups “solution= Ethanol” have saddled the US with – it is a ticking time bomb that could starve millions of people to death in undeveloped countries that are completely agricultural based as terrible examples in Africa, India & China are starting to bear witness too.
There is huge difference between applications using foodstock grain based source and a waste product cellulose application & grain applications not only need to be stopped (subsidies too) but rolled back start until switch grass or cornstalks are viable commercial application. And now is the time.
Brazil is often highlighted as the example for Ethanol use with it’s cane sugar application – but like most liberal/environmental favorites it is huge lie. You need to read article on “Dark Side of Ethanol” to see how Brazils Ethanol Boom has belied Lung disease, accidents and deaths (2002-05 312 died on job & 82,995) among its cane workers who only receive $1.35/hour wages. And large areas of Rain Forest have been harvested for planting grain crops that has also been ignored. China also has article “China: Food First, Not Fuel, where the customary greeting “have you eaten yet” has been jokingly resurrected because of years of shortages & food rationing have become critical. China blames the ethanol industry whose explosive growth has gobbled up China’s corn harvest and hikes in grain & pork prices (very dependent corn feedstock) brings back fears of famine like one China experienced late 1950’s in their experiment with communist industrialization that killed 30 million people. China has already stopped approving use of new food-based ethanol projects in 2007 and existing ethanol plants are being urged to switch to new “sources”.
It is time for Common Sense to stop taking the back seat and time for little truth telling (Emperor has no clothes) with both the Government & Environmental groups on this issue. Unless a cellulose solution drives ethanol use – continued or higher usage is wasteful, reckless, and criminal disregard for plight of poor.
Texas is great place to start because of its dual Refinery / Beef industry impacts. Better if you could get Texas, Louisiana & California which produce nearly 50% of total us gasoline & hence consume majority of Ethanol for blending – but California will always be lost cause for common sense. Don’t simple go for Waiver – tie it to Cellulose Ethanol production, now is the time – otherwise future expansions we need to prop up US fuel production will fail because a 20% Ethanol blend destroys economics (along with our economy & food industry). Go talk to your company strategy people and leap on Texas movement modified for cellulose production.