End of the line for ethanol?

posted at 2:15 pm on November 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Has the federal government’s appetite for ethanol ended?  A bipartisan group of Senators signed a letter today calling for an end to subsidies and tariffs designed to protect and enhance domestic production of ethanol, which has been until recently the darling of the alternative-energy movement.  In a sign of how far ethanol subsidies have fallen from favor, the letter addressed to both Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell has the signatures of such liberal luminaries as Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, and the newly-elected Chris Coons:

In a clear sign of momentum against ethanol subsidies, a bipartisan group of more than a dozen senators has signed onto a letter urging Senate leaders to let the subsidies expire during this Congress, a move that could put many officials in a tricky political spot and could even have ramifications for the 2012 presidential race.

The letter, which I obtained from a source, was authored by senators Dianne Feinstein and Jon Kyl, and includes a number of Democrats and Republicans, including John McCain, Susan Collins, Richard Burr, and Mike Enzi. This is key, because the question of whether the subsidies should expire is emerging as a key test — just like earmarks — of whether Republicans are serious about reining in spending and the deficit.

While this issue could divide Dems along regional lines, it’s more directly relevant to the GOP. With leading GOP senators now coming out for letting the subsidies expire, this could up the pressure on Republican senators who backed the subsidies in the past, such as Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch, putting them on the wrong side of what may emerge as a key litmus test for the Tea Party and potentially dividing the GOP caucus.

Greg Sargent misses the significance of Boxer’s name on this list.  Boxer has a cap-and-trade bill stalled in the Senate, earlier versions of which relied on ethanol to meet its goals.  The ethanol subsidies allowed Midwest farmers to have some buy-in for a bill that would otherwise levy some significant costs on agriculture.  This more or less puts an end to that support, which means that Boxer has acknowledged the death of cap-and-trade.

Will this divide the GOP?  It will make for some contentious discussions on agricultural policy, no doubt, especially in the House where the GOP picked up a number of seats.  But it’s just as likely to hurt Democrats in the Senate, especially those running for 2012 re-elections from ag-heavy states.  Ben Nelson of Nebraska is the obvious incumbent for the hot seat, but Jon Tester in Montana and Mark Pryor in Arkansas also will have to answer for it.

It may, however, have some impact on the 2012 presidential nomination race, which starts in Iowa — the heart of corn country.  It’s not necessary for a GOP candidate to win Iowa in order to win the nomination — Mike Huckabee won it last year and finished a distant third — but it’s usually necessary for a candidate to do well in the caucuses.  Tea Party activists will see an end to subsidies as a success, but will GOP presidential candidates start pandering to corn farmers in Iowa to gain an advantage in the first round of the nominating process?  That may well be a good test for the sincerity of those candidates running as small-government conservatives.

The letter makes clear just how much the government has intervened to coddle ethanol production:

Historically, our government has helped a product compete in one of three ways: subsidize it, protect it from competition, or require its use.  We understand that ethanol may be the only product receiving all three forms of support from the US government at this time.

It’s long past time for those efforts to cease.  Converting food to fuel not only doesn’t work as a replacement for gasoline, it expands starvation by artificially inflating corn prices and making it more difficult to purchase.  This letter might be the first step in dismantling an expensive and ongoing failure.


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The one about whiney cattle farmers. And he did. None of these big cattle people are going broke so you can cry me a river on their profit margins. They have gained as much from or more from corn subsidies as anyone.

Ethanol isnt going away in my lifetime (Im 41), but it does have a shelf life. I dont believe it was ever meant to be something that would “stay” but something that could fill a needed gap until we can get to whatever the next thing is.

Also, Ive never said I was for any subsidy, I have only argued food -> fuel.

this isn’t quid pro quo.. this is life. And you are the person who is going to be the first mobbed by simpletons. FYI.. most people in here are far from “simple”.

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Honestly, I dont even know what you mean by whatever this statement is.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 5:50 PM

Jesus you are a self righteous POS.
You worthless SOB. How dare you suppose to know ANYTHING about ranching.
First of all-people who ranch purely & no farming, like we do, do not take subsidies.
The only subsidies that are to be had are disaster payments.
Profit margins on a cattle ranch are slim. Many of us have negative incomes bcs of expenses etc.
You don’t know WTF you are talking about.
My husband may have inherited his land from his Daddy, but he’s worked his A$$ of his whole life for very little.
There are also a lot of farmers out there who do not collect subsidies & only the big ones & corporations receive large subsidies.
I’m 41, too. And ashamed you’re in my generation.
You are one selfish piece of crap.
You have NO idea what it is like to farm & ranch in this day & age.
You have NO CLUE what kind of $$ we make.
You are an ignorant ba$tard. May you kindly rot in he!!.
And for those of you who know me here, you know I rarely get riled up like this.
But pieces of crap like this I absolutely despise.
They are nothing but ignorant, big city pr!cks who couldn’t find their a$$e$ in the dark.
OMG the sheer ignorance of that vile spew is sickening.

Badger40 on November 30, 2010 at 7:06 PM

And BTW xPOS-I’m no fu@k!ng cattle farmer.
My husband is a rancher & a cowboy.
Your ignorance speaks volumes calling people cattle farmers.
Nobody is a fu@k!ng cattle farmer. They’re farmers with cows or ranchers.
Freaking pr!ck!

Badger40 on November 30, 2010 at 7:09 PM

hillbillyjim on November 30, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Heh! Last possum I had was about 60 years ago. Too damned greasy for me. My grandfather would keep them penned up for about a month and feed them corn. I have several iron skillets that are older than me, one is at least a hundred years. I’ve also got a cast iron camp fire dutch oven with the indented top for hot coals.

Ohhh, like carp?

OmahaConservative on November 30, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Nah, carp is more of a seasonal thing. Also you’ve got to remove that mud vein much like a tuna. About the only way I like carp is smoked.

Oldnuke on November 30, 2010 at 7:09 PM

What government subsidy does someone receive for growing corn for a local farmers market?

blink on November 30, 2010 at 7:05 PM

there is a sub for not growing anything.
there is a sub for those who have a drought strickened crops AND animals.
there is a sub for those who lost money on crops and animals in floods, and storms.
there are many… but the paperwork is long and a farm and expenses do not wait for paperwork.

But the subs for farmers (small not large farms) are non-exsistant unless it “helps” the community. Like the farm I described in an earlier post.

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 7:10 PM

only a bloody idiot would grow corn and feed it to their cattle instead of selling it.

gryphon202 on November 30, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Have you ever heard of corn silage?

Mirimichi on November 30, 2010 at 7:12 PM

What government subsidy does someone receive for growing corn for a local farmers market?

blink on November 30, 2010 at 7:05 PM

The kind of corn you take to a farmers market is not the kind of corn you sell to an Ethanol plant.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Ahhhh.

Ethanol, ‘possums, pissed-off upinak, and red-eye gravy!

What’s not to love about Hot Air, I ask you?

hillbillyjim on November 30, 2010 at 7:16 PM

We shouldn’t be using a food like corn for fuel, period. If we have to go to bio-mass-based fuel the only one energy-dense enough to even make sense is sugar cane. That’s why Brazil is doing great on the “green” energy front- lots and lots of energy dense sugar cane. Although we could eat sugar cane it’s not like corn… corn can be eaten off the stalk, cooked on the cob, made into bread, tortillas, polenta, etc. Any Republicans willing to pander to Iowa corn farmers about ethanol subsidies just to get elected are no better than Algore in my mind.

NTWR on November 30, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Now I remember….

nevermind.

hillbillyjim on November 30, 2010 at 7:17 PM

No reflection on NTWR that that post landed ‘twixt mine. Sorry.

hillbillyjim on November 30, 2010 at 7:18 PM

pissed-off upinak,
hillbillyjim on November 30, 2010 at 7:16 PM

LOL, does everyone think this? I am in a great mood actually!

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 7:23 PM

wow. fireworks.

ted c on November 30, 2010 at 7:27 PM

I hope that sarc tag was indicating that a capella’s answer was pretty darned illogical.

blink on November 30, 2010 at 6:23 PM

A corn farmer with a section of land doesn’t usually grow a section of corn. If he sets aside acres on a government contract, he gets paid for that. That money can be used to subsidize his costs of growing corn to feed his own cattle. Actually, it can even be a twofer. If he has Dept of Ag(nanny state) approved grass in his set aside, many times the government lets him harvest at least one cutting of hay from it which can also feed his own animals. Money is fungible.

a capella on November 30, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Maybe you’re being confused with Badger40. She doesn’t seem to be sharing your cheery disposition.

blink on November 30, 2010 at 7:25 PM

No, badger can be as mad as she wants. She sure should be allowed too. A couple springs ago, she had issues with the cattle dropping their young in a last snow storm and nasty cold temps and lost quite a few to the cold. She lost a lot of money that spring. Being the fact that she and her husband work their buns off …. she can vent if she needs and wants too.

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 7:30 PM

No reflection on NTWR that that post landed ‘twixt mine. Sorry.

hillbillyjim on November 30, 2010 at 7:18 PM

Phew! Didn’t think that was aimed my direction but thanks anyway for the clarification. :)

NTWR on November 30, 2010 at 7:32 PM

Here we go. Shooting ourselves in the foot again. Corn is our biggest export. The corn ethanol plan drove prices up and was responsible for a lot of foreign currency coming back into the US. We are so very short sighted. DD

Darvin Dowdy on November 30, 2010 at 7:34 PM

About the only way I like carp is smoked.

Oldnuke on November 30, 2010 at 7:09 PM

You are a brave man.
~shudder~

She doesn’t seem to be sharing your cheery disposition.

blink on November 30, 2010 at 7:25 PM

I’m very laid back. But I despise when pr!cks talk through their a$$ about ranching.
Most of you here at HA have no clue how hard this life is.
I have been living in an early model 70s doublewide for 10 yrs that should have been condemned bcs we are hanging on to this place by our teeth.
I cried when we were able to put on a new roof, modest front porch, skirting & some new windows.
People like xPOS look at people like us & snide that we’re ‘rich’ or making $$ bcs we have stuff, or got good prices for our calves one fall.
But it means very little when your expenses cause you to lose $$, no matter how good the market is. And it isn’t just us, it’s the whole industry.
The crushing taxes & debt & expenses make this life extremely hard.

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Thanks lady. I know you know me ;)

Badger40 on November 30, 2010 at 7:38 PM

blink on November 30, 2010 at 7:17 PM

That statement was broad but made under the premise we were talking about people who supplied corn to ethanol facilities.

Pardon me for not putting it more into context for you.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 7:52 PM

blink on November 30, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Now yer catchin’ on. In fact, that money could even go towards subsidizing the cost of growing that farmer’s market sweet corn you keep hinting at but just can’t quite bring yourself to name. Money is fungible.

a capella on November 30, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Have you ever heard of corn silage?

Mirimichi on November 30, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Silage is not a practical feed for cattle writ large. The reason it is used at all is because cattle need the bulk from the cellulose to properly digest their diet. Otherwise, their normal gastric flora die off, their stomach acidifies, and they can’t digest cellulose at all (including from grain). Grain bulks them up, but silage/grass is a necessary evil even for the largest corporate feedlots.

gryphon202 on November 30, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Thanks lady. I know you know me ;)

Badger40 on November 30, 2010 at 7:38 PM

you want to sell some cow? You know how to get a hold of me. We just need a way to ship it up here. Or maybe find a butcher up here, find a shipper and see how it goes. I am really tired of paying 3.99 a lbs for ground beef.

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 7:57 PM

opps shouls have said ON SALE. 3.99 ON SALE. Meat costs up here are outrageous.

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 7:58 PM

Badger40 on November 30, 2010 at 7:06 PM

I know, beef people hate being called farmers. Pig people are pretty thick skinned and while I do also do a lot of business with Tyson in chicken I havent noticed them being any more whiney that what I would consider a normal whine.

You cattle people take the cake though. Wah wah wah, thats all I have herd (HA!) out of you types for the last decade.

We need more fuel that doesnt come from terrorists. If we have to dry out a little corn to do it, deal.

Says this BIG CITY guy from Kansas!

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Says this BIG CITY guy from Kansas!

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:01 PM

stop. you are being an ass.

Now think about this Kansas. I am from Alaska, Badger is north of you as well. it has been proven that ethanol cause lung problems. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Ihave had ethanol in my “gas” for decades… over 20 now as we were the first state to try it. It isn’t working and hasn’t for decades as it congeals into jello. It clogs Fuel injections, it wears the engine out fast, it is just a waste of money up here and anywhere it is cold.

With that said, being that you are in kansas and have some harsh temps, storms and winters… maybe you haven’t had that much of a problem as us “northern” folk, but I will tell you that it isn’t worth the time and money to put into my gas.

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 8:06 PM

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:01 PM

I’d love to introduce you to a few salty Sand Hills ranchers I know. You could call them whiners to their faces,…heh. Make a great Youtube presentation.

a capella on November 30, 2010 at 8:09 PM

After all, money is fungible.

Or maybe, just maybe, you’re misusing the concepts of subsidy and fungible.

blink on November 30, 2010 at 8:14 PM

If you pay someone else to do whatever on your farm, taxpayer money doesn’t come into it. Straw man much?

gryphon202 on November 30, 2010 at 8:15 PM

A peer-reviewed study by the University of Nebraska (published in January 2009) noted that:

* The ethanol industry is producing a fuel that is 48 to 59 percent lower in direct-effect lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than gasoline. That’s two to three times the reduction reported in earlier studies that did not take into account recent advances in corn-ethanol production.
* The net energy ratio is 1.5-1.8 to 1. That means that for every unit of energy it takes to make ethanol, 1.5 to 1.8 units of energy are produced as ethanol. (These numbers were 1.2 to 1 in earlier studies.)
* Between 10 and 19 gallons of ethanol are produced for every gallon of petroleum used in the entire corn-ethanol production life cycle.

Full study – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2008.00105.x/full

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:21 PM

University of Nebraska

need I say more?

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 8:23 PM

blink on November 30, 2010 at 8:19 PM

You have no clue exactly what i do or who I am yet you make assumptions just to be a prick.

Awesome, I do that to. ;)

Just a reminder, I am pro-ethanol, not pro-subsidy.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:29 PM

blink on November 30, 2010 at 8:26 PM

All corn farmers benefit from corn subsidies…taxpayer subsidies. They wouldn’t be considered corn subsidies if that weren’t the case, would they?

gryphon202 on November 30, 2010 at 8:31 PM

I hope this gets done..Ethanol is a joke.

It’s about f’n time to stop this nonsense.

txdoc on November 30, 2010 at 8:32 PM

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Yeah, just dismiss it, dont actually read it. Good call.

Most of the arguments made against corn based ethanol are old and tired. Tremendous leaps have been made.

Would you rather have a link from the USDA? Honestly, is there any source I could possibly provide you would even read?

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Did you actually include a bullet point about ethanol contributing less to CAGW?

blink on November 30, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Yes but no, I copied and pasted it. Was part of the package. Outside of doing a little home recycling I am not at all green.

The only reason i am pro-ethanol is we grow it and make it here. I dont believe, nor do I know anyone in the industry that believes its an end all solution.

I can also say for certain, more ethanol is coming whether any of us like it or not and not just here in the US.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:40 PM

I have nothing against ethanol, just as long as a few conditions are met.

1) There are no subsidies. The product makes it in the market or it doesn’t, based on price and customer acceptance, just like any other product,

2) Products containing ethanol are clearly labeled, and

3) No refiner is required to add ethanol to any product, so the consumer has a choice.

If those three conditions are met, I don’t care if half the farmland in the country is turned over to ethanol production.

Haiku Guy on November 30, 2010 at 8:44 PM

The only reason i am pro-ethanol is we grow it and make it here. I dont believe, nor do I know anyone in the industry that believes its an end all solution.

I can also say for certain, more ethanol is coming whether any of us like it or not and not just here in the US.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:40 PM

We have oil here s#it stick. Why don’t you support drilling and building refineries? Tying up acreage to burn is the most absurd thing ever thought up by the smart guys at colleges.

darwin-t on November 30, 2010 at 8:50 PM

blink on November 30, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Because in less than 5 minutes you were able to read enough of it… yeah, I am pretty much done with you.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Because in less than 5 minutes you were able to read enough of it… yeah, I am pretty much done with you.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Is what he said true?

sharrukin on November 30, 2010 at 8:55 PM

We have oil here s#it stick. Why don’t you support drilling and building refineries? Tying up acreage to burn is the most absurd thing ever thought up by the smart guys at colleges.

darwin-t on November 30, 2010 at 8:50 PM

did you even read the article or did you just jump into the thread? Did I miss the drilling for oil part or something?

Drill drill drill. Never one time even insinuated I was against it. You could put one in my backfuckingyard and I would be ok with it.

Burning what?

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Is what he said true?

sharrukin on November 30, 2010 at 8:55 PM

I dont know. I dismissed him/her/it soley based on time of reply.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:57 PM

This is one of the most stupid comments I’ve read all day. Just because certain subsidies exist for corn doesn’t at all mean that all corn is subsidized. Please, please, please tell me you understand that.

blink on November 30, 2010 at 8:55 PM

What kind of corn isn’t subsidized, slick? Are you a corn grower?

gryphon202 on November 30, 2010 at 8:57 PM

I dont know. I dismissed him/her/it soley based on time of reply.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:57 PM

You don’t know what the study you are quoting actually says and you are dismissing him?

sharrukin on November 30, 2010 at 8:59 PM

I dont know. I dismissed him/her/it soley based on time of reply.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:57 PM

We’ll be dismissing you on the basis of that response alone.

darwin-t on November 30, 2010 at 9:01 PM

You don’t know what the study you are quoting actually says and you are dismissing him?

sharrukin on November 30, 2010 at 8:59 PM

No, I know exactly what is in the study.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 9:05 PM

And if you pay me to edit your stupid Hot Air comments, then you can claim that YOU are subsidizing him to grow corn for the farmers market.

Paying you to edit my comments would mean I put a value on your opinions. Sorry.

Hell, anyone buying the farmers corn at the farmers market can claim that they are subsidizing the farmer to grow his corn for the farmers market.

Sure they can. What’s your point?

After all, money is fungible.

Attaboy!

Or maybe, just maybe, you’re misusing the concepts of subsidy and fungible.blink on November 30, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Pretty hard to do that. Government subsidies overlap. The use of money isn’t restricted to one thing.

a capella on November 30, 2010 at 9:09 PM

We have oil here s#it stick. Why don’t you support drilling and building refineries? Tying up acreage to burn is the most absurd thing ever thought up by the smart guys at colleges.

darwin-t on November 30, 2010 at 8:50 PM

Drill baby drill. I am all for it, never once insinuated I was. You can put one in my backyard for all I care.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 9:10 PM

We’ll be dismissing you on the basis of that response alone.

darwin-t on November 30, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Wow, another one. All the information he could possibly want is very well sourced in the study. He never read anything but the title.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Hemp.

OkieDoc on November 30, 2010 at 9:16 PM

#1. Not according to a capella. Any payment to a farmer for anything at all can be considered a subsidy since money is fungible.
blink on November 30, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Did I say that? Where did I say that? Please tell me you’re just using creative license here.

a capella on November 30, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Yes! Me and my chickens need cheap corn, please.

esnap on November 30, 2010 at 9:44 PM

blink on November 30, 2010 at 9:01 PM

it is a peer review. Nothing more. Nebraska is funded.. via the corn industry. Need I say More?

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 9:51 PM

Hey xRos, you’ll have to get Sarah Palin to vet your study. Then this bunch of uneducated losers will believe it.

Dark-Star on November 30, 2010 at 9:55 PM

Hey xRos, you’ll have to get Sarah Palin to vet your study. Then this bunch of uneducated losers will believe it.

Dark-Star on November 30, 2010 at 9:55 PM

you know you got a little puffy with whatever it is that runs through your brain… yet you KEEP doing it to others. You really wonder why people always give you crap?

BTW what is it you do again? I work in… gasp… oil. I know, shocking.

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 10:00 PM

You cattle people take the cake though. Wah wah wah, thats all I have herd (HA!) out of you types for the last decade.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:01 PM

It really doesn’t matter if you’re right when you’re such a complete jerk that no one will listen to you.

Oh, and don’t bother to answer, because you’re such a complete jerk that I won’t listen to you.

Merovign on November 30, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Badger40 on November 30, 2010 at 7:06 PM

We have a saying here in Texas:
“All hat, no cattle”

mad scientist on November 30, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Dark-Star on November 30, 2010 at 9:55 PM

Does your lurking and stalking on this board make you a
wannabe “uneducated loser?”

BTW, I see a lot more intelligent discussion on this board than in any of the MSM.

mad scientist on November 30, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Please tell me what payments to a corn farmer you WOULDN’T consider to be a subsidy.

I know that your exclusionary list wouldn’t include either of these:

1. Payment made to a corn farmer that paints your house (you would consider that a subsidy because money is fungible).

2. Payment made to a corn farmer in exchange for ears of corn at a farmers market.

blink on November 30, 2010 at 9:24 PM

How about this, Blinky:

If it’s not funded by taxpayer dollars, it’s not a “subsidy” in the sense that we are using that word?? That good enough for you?

gryphon202 on November 30, 2010 at 10:09 PM

“All hat, no cattle”

mad scientist on November 30, 2010 at 10:04 PM

expound???? I have an idea but then I could be wrong!

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Full study –

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Next time you source a third rate journal article make sure you know what the hell you’re talking about.
Estimations were made nine different occasions. And did you even check on the authors?

From his UNL webpage (http://bse.unl.edu/faculty/liska.shtml)
Adam J. Liska
Assistant Professor of Biological Systems Engineering George Dempster Smith Chair of Industrial Ecology Program Coordinator, Engergy Science Minor

Interests -
Biofuels
Life cycle assessment
Greenhouse gas emissions
Energy Security
Could the be a conflict of interest here?
The next name author of this paper is
Haishun S. Yang who works for Monsanto Company
Monsanto has no stake in bio-fuel production right?
And who did they contact for this data?
Acknowledgements
U.S. Department of Energy, Nebraska Energy Office, USDA-CSREES NC506 Regional Research, Environmental Defense, and the Agricultural Research Division and Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research at the University of Nebraska.
Survey statistics were provided by the Renewable Fuels Association (thanks to Kristy Moore),
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Christianson & Associates (Willmar, MN).
We thank Daniel Kenney and Patrick Tracy, Prime Biosolutions (Omaha, NE), for help analyzing the closed-loop system;
Maribeth Milner, Agronomy and Horticulture, UNL, for GIS support; and
Rick Koelsch, Biological Systems Engineering, UNL, for assistance with emission factors from anaerobic digestion.
Take you half assed, poorly sourced, non-scientific, POS paper and find an audience who’ll care. I hear there’s a trailer park in KC that might be interested.

LincolntheHun on November 30, 2010 at 10:15 PM

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 10:13 PM

It means basically an idiot who thinks buying a hat makes him an expert on all things cowboy. An armchair expert, if you will.

mad scientist on November 30, 2010 at 10:17 PM

” I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy,
I see by your outfit that you’re a cowboy too
We see by our outfits that we are both cowboys,
If you get an outfit you can be a cowboy too”

Smothers Brothers take off of an old western song

mad scientist on November 30, 2010 at 10:22 PM

mad scientist on November 30, 2010 at 10:17 PM

gotcha!

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM

We need more fuel that doesnt come from terrorists.

We have plenty, we just choose to buy theirs over using our own. We could end foreign oil imports within 2 years if we so chose and not have to change our tech or our lifestyle one bit.

If we have to dry out a little corn to do it, deal.

Why should we do something like that when it destroys our infrastructure (ethanol destroys engines) and we get less power per unit, it costs more to produce and it makes the price of virtually all other foodstuffs higher?

Corn based ethanol does not make sense. Growing fuel for our machines is a fools errand. Put panels in space and MMwave it to the ground, that’d be cheaper than ethanol, and more effective.

Or we can continue to use petrochemicals and toss 1/2 of the money we waste on ethanol at micro-nuke and fusion which is where we’ll be winding up anyway.

Jason Coleman on November 30, 2010 at 10:31 PM

End of the line for some living at the expense of others.

Want to make ethanol?

Go ahead, just don’t force me to pay for it or use it.

AshleyTKing on November 30, 2010 at 11:44 PM

An examination of the U.S. tax code shows that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process – tax breaks that some say are being abused or are outdated. And I know some groups have argued that the US Navy is subsidizing oil prices by keeping the flow of oil moving in our direction. Care to put an estimate on the cost of that subsidy?

So why single out just ethanol? It would seem to me we should be putting the oil production tax breaks on the table, too.

If we’re going to scrap the ethanol tax breaks, then let’s also talk about scrapping all the other tax breaks. I’m guessing most on Hat Air agree with that.

Until everything else is on the table, I refuse to single out just ethanol. In fact, I prefer giving farmers that tax break than giving oil companies their tax breaks.

Bud Dude on December 1, 2010 at 12:24 AM

pissed-off upinak,
hillbillyjim on November 30, 2010 at 7:16 PM

LOL, does everyone think this? I am in a great mood actually!

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 7:23 PM

I stand corrected.

A pissed-off fired-up upinak.

Better?

;>)

hillbillyjim on December 1, 2010 at 1:10 AM

Actually, there’s no way we could ramp oil production fast enough (and/or cut usage fast enough) to cease importing foreign oil.

Yes, there is. Simply opening wells that are capped and not producing due to environmental injunctions would get us 25% of the way there virtually overnight. Take the handcuffs off the industry and it would easily happen.

Open the coasts take the brakes off the Gulf and Alaska and we can hit 20 million a day within two years.

The environmentalists won’t let it happen, but the tech is there. We did 10 million a day before the EPA and our ability to recover is at least 5 times what it was then.

This is one of the worst energy ideas that exist out there.

Don’t start twisting already my little pedophillic troll friend. I didn’t say it was the best idea, I said it would be cheaper and more effective than ethanol, and it would be.

EADS, NASA, JAXA, Solaren and PG&E agree.

Jason Coleman on December 1, 2010 at 1:14 AM

Wait, you mean Congress is only just now learning that turning food into gasoline is a bad idea?

Snake307 on December 1, 2010 at 5:39 AM

Wait, you mean Congress is only just now learning that turning food into gasoline is a bad idea?

Snake307 on December 1, 2010 at 5:39 AM

Some of them are starting to get it; there are still many who will fight to the end for this nonsense.

hillbillyjim on December 1, 2010 at 7:34 AM

Growing up on a farm, I encouraged ethanol production as a means to expand the market and increase grain prices to help make corn farming a profitable venture.

At the time, I considered the subsidies for ethanol the lesser of two evils of paying farmers not to grow corn.

Now we have a combination of both, with farmers being paid not to grow corn, and subsidized ethanol plants.

These things, combined with increased participation in the commodities market and speculation have driven corn prices to very high levels over the past few years.

Personally, I don’t think there is any further need for ethanol subsidies, or for that matter, government payoff for non-producing farmland.

I see too much of our energy policy being modeled after the ethanol system, which is unsustainable. If we punish cheap energy suppliers so we can prop up unsustainable energy sources, it’s just a matter of time before the whole thing collapses.

Just my two cents.

.

cntrlfrk on December 1, 2010 at 7:48 AM

You cattle people take the cake though. Wah wah wah, thats all I have herd (HA!) out of you types for the last decade.

We need more fuel that doesnt come from terrorists. If we have to dry out a little corn to do it, deal.

Says this BIG CITY guy from Kansas!

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:01 PM

You have big city attitude friend.
And not much of our imported oil comes from Saudi area. It comes from Mexico & Canada.
Since you are making $$ off of the corn subsidy, you’re nothing but a welfare whore.
And all you’re doing here is saving your a$$.
Feeders do have a larger profit margin bcs they can lock in theior corn price & if the corn price gets too high they can sell the corn & not buy any calves to feed. So they’re more flexible thazn we as cow calf producers.
But you still have your head up your a$$ about this.
You sit from your throne in Kansa$$ & deal down judgements upon ranchers like you know something about this bcs you deal with us types? That makes you think you know something about us & our profits?
Sanctimonius ba$tard is what you are.
And yes-you act like every big city pr!ck I have ever known.
Your hand is down deep in that corn subsidy pocket.
Call me thin skinned bcs I object to your insult being called a cattle farmer?
Listen xPOS: anyone knowing anything of our industry knows it’s a huge insult to call a rancher a cattle farmer.
You know it too.
That’s why you’re a big city pr!ck.
I would love it if we were such high rollers in the dough like you make us out to be.
But that isn’t the truth.
The big ag corps are rolling in the dough bcs they are so big they can afford to lose 20 or 30 critters & it won’t hrut their bottom line.
Walk a mile in my shoes mister before you pass judgement on my business.

Badger40 on December 1, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Tyson in chicken I havent noticed them being any more whiney that what I would consider a normal whine.

xRos on November 30, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Bcs the poultry & pork industry are slaves to their masters with forward contracting.
They can’t whine anymore bcs if they do, no one listens to them & they could get blackballed.
Why do you think there are hardly anymore small poultry & pork producers anymore?
They are trying to do this to the beef industry.
Again-you don’t know WTF you are talking about.
Concentrating the food industry is efficient only in some ways, but dangerously inefficient in others.
Do you understand how many animals die in large operations vs small?
And no it’s not bcs of increased #s. It is proportinally higher bcs of the conditions the animals are raised in.
Mortality rates are higher. But they can afford to have more die bcs of their sheer size of the operation.
Kinda like how WalMart can afford to lose $$ on stuff to out compete others-bcs they have such huge amounts of resources.
This doesn’t make a better product.
You’re a fat cat evidently that still wants his pork.

Badger40 on December 1, 2010 at 8:23 AM

you want to sell some cow? You know how to get a hold of me. We just need a way to ship it up here. Or maybe find a butcher up here, find a shipper and see how it goes. I am really tired of paying 3.99 a lbs for ground beef.

upinak on November 30, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Actually, we have 2 yearling steers & a 4yo steer to butcher. So we have too much meat. Plus we got a pig coming from a friend.
I really am not sure though if it’d be cheaper for you to buy our critter & then have it butchered or not.
But I can talk to my hubby & ask him what he wants for a steer.
FB me about it.

Badger40 on December 1, 2010 at 8:25 AM

End the ethanol subsidy… and the mohair subsidy too!

Khun Joe on December 1, 2010 at 9:05 AM

1. At least oil can make a profit on its own. The industry doesn’t need to be propped up using tax dollars.

2. The only tax “breaks” the oil industry receives is that it’s allowed to deduct a cost of the oil that is sold. Every business in this country is allowed to deduct their COGS (cost of goods sold) from their revenue for tax purposes. Why shouldn’t the oil industry be allowed to do this, too?

According to the most recent study by the CBO released back in 2005, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9%, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25% for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry.

And for many small and midsize oil companies, the tax on capital investments is so low that it is more than eliminated by various credits.

So I’m not just talking about deducting COGS. And I agree oil companies can make a profit without being propped up by tax dollars. My point is we always seem to be going after farmers, but we’re not even having a discussion about eliminating oil production tax breaks / subsidies / whatever you want to call it, much less tax breaks for other industries or individuals, for that matter.

Bud Dude on December 1, 2010 at 9:45 AM

The decline since the early 70s has much more to do with the economics associated with producing domestic reservoirs (it’s been cheaper to import from countries that can produce their large, shallow reservoirs more cheaply). Lifting certain offshore bans might allow production to stay flat or even grow slightly in the long run, but only an idiot would expect it to make up for imports within two years. Heck it takes months to plan, prepare, shoot, and process seismic data for any given location.

Our proven reserves are exponentially greater than they were in the 70′s, our ability to extract is at least 5 times greater than it was then (it’s actually more like 15 or 20 times greater).

Yes, the economics make it cheaper to pull oil from overseas.

BUT. . .if we took the EPA out of the question and didn’t force years long environmental impact studies and abatement regimes on the explorers, it could be done and done easily.

There’s over 1.9 million barrels per day that could be accessed IMMEDIATELY just in Louisiana and the Gulf alone. These are wells that were shut down by the EPA in the 70′s. They could be brought online within 6 months.

There are at least 17 fields in the four corners area of the U.S. that combined could deliver another .4 million barrels per day at 70′s production rates. With a small amount of retrofit, that rate could easily double or treble. These fields were shut down by the EPA and BLM for political reasons.

Open up the capped wells in the GoA and you’re well over the 25% mark virtually overnight.

The economics you mention as the reason for our switch to foreign oil are all our own. If we eliminated the EPA, the cost of domestic production would fall through the floor.

The Economics of oil production can be met, but that wasn’t even the discussion was it, you just wanted to “shift the context” to avoid your weaker point and transition to a stronger one. I’M NOT DISCUSSING THE FAKE ECONOMICS OF IT. I’m discussing whether or not we can do it if we choose. We can.

Your months to “plan, prepare, shoot, and process seismic data for any given location” has already been done on thousands of thousands of locations and the sites are ready, they just have a big “EPA DENIAL” on their permits.

The only real choke point is transporting the oil from the wells to refineries. We’ve let our pipeline networks fall into disrepair, but that’s a problem that could be worked out if we wanted to. Pipelines can go up much quicker today than they did in the 70′s (again IF AND ONLY IF, we allow them to without 20 lawsuits and injunctions per mile)

NASA JAXA and EADS all have space based MMwave projects on the books, Solaren and PG&E as private entities are scheduled to turn on the beam in 2016. 2 years of ethanol subsidies would more than pay for all four projects.

Ethanol uses more energy in than we get out. That’s a fact. Space based solar power has high initial costs (but not as high a cost as ethanol subsidies) but you get more energy out than you put it within a VERY SHORT time frame. That’s been proven in space and it’s been proven on the ground. Regardless of your personal opinion, SBSP would be and is both cheaper and more efficient than corn-based ethanol ever could be.

SBSP is probably not the way to do long term because there are certainly better options out there, but it would be cheaper and more efficient than corn based ethanol hands down.

Jason Coleman on December 1, 2010 at 10:29 AM

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