Major lobbies going toe-to-toe in the ongoing ethanol-mandate battle

posted at 9:01 pm on January 30, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Last week, a federal appeals court informed the Environmental Protection Agency that, no actually, the EPA may not punish oil companies for failing to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates that they blend a certain amount of advanced cellulosic biofuels into their product — seeing as how those cellulosic biofuels aren’t actually available in the required amounts. As in, they do not exist yet. (…Yes, sadly, this is real life.) Unfortunately, the court’s ruling did not do away with the wildly enthusiastic and unrealistic mandate altogether, it merely took the teeth out of its enforcement for 2012.

The EPA has been shamelessly throwing bones like this to the well-monied, rent-seeking ethanol/agribusiness lobby for years now, the ‘unintended’ (more like, neglected) consequences be damned — and the oil industry, automaking industry, et al are doing some battle, via the WSJ:

Auto makers and oil companies stepped up their campaign against gasoline blended with extra ethanol, releasing a study Tuesday that said the fuel could cause cars to break down on the road.

Ethanol makers, who are facing growing political headwinds, said the study was flawed and that the problems it identifies might be tied to car components, not the fuel. …

A study by the Coordinating Research Council—a group backed by Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., among others—said testing showed E15 could cause erratic fuel-gauge readings and check-engine alerts. The tests involved fuel pumps and gas-tank sensors used in five popular models, including the 2004 Ford Ranger and 2007 Nissan Altima, the council said. …

Growth Energy, a pro-ethanol group, said oil companies and auto makers had a political agenda and were cherry-picking data. “Today’s study is no surprise,” said Tom Buis, the group’s chief executive. “Oil companies are desperate to prevent the use of higher blends of renewable fuels.” …

A political agenda? Cherry-picking data? Really? Of course everyone involved here has a political agenda, because the federal government is so hugely metastasized and self-involved in selecting marketplace winners and losers, that all kinds of companies are incentivized to divert some of their resources from truly growth-boosting productivity to political lobbying. But did anyone ever stop to think that the federal government should just back the heck off and let consumers in the free market drive price-efficient innovation and competition? But no, the ethanol lobby cannot allow that, because they know they cannot win that contest — ethanol is not cost-effective, it drives up food prices, and even real environmentalists don’t like it.


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OK so their csrs break down on the side of the road.

Am I missing something?

WryTrvllr on January 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM

When you’re burning your food as fuel while oceans of inedible fuel are buried just under the ground then you are doing it wrong.

Bishop on January 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Can the corn.

Resist We Much on January 30, 2013 at 9:11 PM

…MONEY MONEY MONEY…WE ALSO WANT TAXPAYER MONEY!…it’s an “investment”!

KOOLAID2 on January 30, 2013 at 9:11 PM

and even real environmentalists don’t like it

…and you have NO IDEA…how much it pollutes!…thanks to the State-Run media!

KOOLAID2 on January 30, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Alcohol is for drinking, not burning. But seriously, the E-15 stuff is bad for the fuel components of current engines.

chewmeister on January 30, 2013 at 9:14 PM

It’s gettin’ real.

Or, Getting Rid.

Bmore on January 30, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Will kill the marine industry dead, go federalist imperial government go! Burn it all down, burn it down, just drive a stake through it and get it over with will you!

Shew, glad I got that off my chest:)

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Corn is a global commodity. Forcing us to burn it for fuel has decreased the supply f corn available for food and has had serious impact on the world’s poor who spend most of their income on food.

Ethanol from corn is not just economically and environmentally foolish, it is immoral. But we all know that the Left don’t really care about people, especially poor people.

Charlemagne on January 30, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Always like seeing one of these threads. I can paste in my first comment here at HotAir.

I have long thought turning our food crops into fuel was idiotic. I don’t know how it is in other states but here in Ga we still have access to straight gas. It has been popular for gas powered tools as the ethanol based stuff will mess up the seals. Many boaters and folks with older cars use it exclusively. I was listening to a radio show once when a trucker called in with what I thought was a really good idea. A good idea if we are going to insist on using ethanol. He pointed out that the highway administration owns millions of acres of land between the highways. This land cost the government millions a year to maintain i.e. mow. The truckers idea was to grow sugar beets in all those places, spring planting no maintenance, fall harvest. What do you think?

Bmore on December 8, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Bmore on January 30, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Will kill the marine industry dead, go federalist imperial government go! Burn it all down, burn it down, just drive a stake through it and get it over with will you!

Shew, glad I got that off my chest:)

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Yeah, but my new lawn mower and new snow blower, every year, will make up the difference./ (or \)

WryTrvllr on January 30, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Bmore on January 30, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Sorry Bmore won’t work, why, because it makes too much damn sense!

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:29 PM

…that porn picture leading to the thread!…what is JugEars doing with his fly open?

KOOLAID2 on January 30, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Bmore on January 30, 2013 at 9:27 PM

This is why we shouldn’t have open registration!!11!!! /sarc

Seriously if they want to use non-agricultural land like a hot desert for algae fuel production and use their own money to do it, then go ahead.

Don’t subsidize it and don’t use food.

sharrukin on January 30, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Ban ethanol, and while we’re at it since forty odd million people get food poisoning a year with 120,000 hospitalized and 3000 die we need to ban food right along with assault weapons.I know don’t give the govt any ideas.

tim c on January 30, 2013 at 9:31 PM

WryTrvllr on January 30, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Good point and we can all become strict vegitarians using the clipping from your lawn mower as food to make up for loss of fish. /s

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Go on MarshFox. Tell us how you REALLY feel. ;-)

tommy71 on January 30, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Bmore on January 30, 2013 at 9:27 PM
Sorry Bmore won’t work, why, because it makes too much damn sense!

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Anything that has common sense and logic attached to it is summarily disregarded by our DC elite!

CoffeeLover on January 30, 2013 at 9:36 PM

tommy71 on January 30, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Nah, it would probably just get me banned anyway, oh hey, I am 14 hours ahead of east coast time btw, saw your post yesterday:) It is only lunch time for me here now, that is why you see me pop in and out, I can come to the room and post but at work no deal.

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Cellulosic, my new word for the day. Thanks, Erika. :-)

tommy71 on January 30, 2013 at 9:38 PM

WryTrvllr on January 30, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Good point and we can all become strict vegitarians using the clipping from your lawn mower as food to make up for loss of fish. /s

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:32 PM

THANK YOU. I get it now. /s

WryTrvllr on January 30, 2013 at 9:38 PM

sharrukin on January 30, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Lol!!! I had hoped you might catch that! Thought about you as I always do when I see it. Should have included the entire thing. ; )

Bmore on January 30, 2013 at 9:39 PM

CoffeeLover on January 30, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Now that is a thread winner right there!:)

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:41 PM

What ever happened to..

A Banana in the tailpipe trick?

Electrongod on January 30, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Maybe this is Barry’s way of getting everyone in a battery powered car.

GarandFan on January 30, 2013 at 9:43 PM

WryTrvllr on January 30, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Sorry sometimes my thoughts only seem to make sense in my brain, I think it has to do with my white trash upbringing:)

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:45 PM

They are actively destroying our cars. They want to. You can’t make this freaking stuff up. And thank you Bush for signing this crap bill in the first place.

I freaking tell you.. the government is just a club. It’s all us vs them. There is no other freaking way to explain it.

Bush started this crap and now Obama is high on it. Destroy every single one of America’s cars. Drive up food prices. Starve central America.

JellyToast on January 30, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Food for Fuel!

A cause you can get behind! /

Scrumpy on January 30, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Corn Republic?

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Will kill the marine industry dead, go federalist imperial government go! Burn it all down, burn it down, just drive a stake through it and get it over with will you!

Shew, glad I got that off my chest:)

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:24 PM

But MarshFox, killing industry is good…

SWalker on January 30, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Corn Republic?

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Lately it feels more like the Corn ________ Republic.

Bmore on January 30, 2013 at 9:50 PM

CoffeeLover on January 30, 2013 at 9:36 PM
Now that is a thread winner right there!:)

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:41 PM

tyvm MarshFox! lol

CoffeeLover on January 30, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Corn Republic?

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Lately it feels more like the Corn ________ Republic.

Bmore on January 30, 2013 at 9:50 PM

<—- Raises one eyebrow and backs slowly away from Bmore…

SWalker on January 30, 2013 at 9:55 PM

SWalker on January 30, 2013 at 9:49 PM

But Father, oh sorry not QOTD yet:) Killing industry is good, good for the Imperial Federalist Government, for us small people not so much.

Wondering where you had been:)

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Corn Republic?

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Lately it feels more like the Corn ________ Republic.

Bmore on January 30, 2013 at 9:50 PM
<—- Raises one eyebrow and backs slowly away from Bmore…

SWalker on January 30, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Well I can see now we are all jonesing for the QOTD thread:)

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Corn Republic?

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Lately it feels more like the Corn ________ Republic.

Bmore on January 30, 2013 at 9:50 PM
<—- Raises one eyebrow and backs slowly away from Bmore…

SWalker on January 30, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Well I can see now we are all jonesing for the QOTD thread:)

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Yea, that or this thread is just to corny to take seriously… /rim shot…

SWalker on January 30, 2013 at 10:02 PM

SWalker on January 30, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Yeah, we are having a huskin good time! (ok, now it has just gotten real)

MarshFox on January 30, 2013 at 10:07 PM

I thought corn was used to eat and make sour mash, duh, I was wrong.

Drill and Fill on January 30, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Everybody here in OK advertises 100% gasoline. Ethanol is pure sh!t.

msupertas on January 30, 2013 at 10:21 PM

funny that the trolls are missing…is there no one to defend the State? Well, i know the state-run media, but aside from that? Trolls? Hello?

r keller on January 30, 2013 at 10:28 PM

When you’re burning your food as fuel while oceans of inedible fuel are buried just under the ground then you are doing it wrong.

Bishop on January 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Yes . And use E15 in your tank once and your
warranty will be VOID .

Lucano on January 30, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Having been involved with aftermarket performance for almost the last decade, I’ve seen first hand how Ethanol can destroy car components since people often use E85 or other blends to increase power output from their engines.

Ethanol has little to no place as a viable fuel source for normal, daily driven vehicles. There are some interesting benefits from a design standpoint if engines were built around E85 that might provide alternatives to gasoline, but the market would never support such a vehicle. No doubt the same pitfalls would be seen as those coming out about the Nissan Leaf.

We would be much better off going back to straight gasoline. It provides better performance, and would eliminate all the pollution that ethanol creates both at the tail pipe and in production.

Flashwing on January 30, 2013 at 10:38 PM

<—- Raises one eyebrow and backs slowly away from Bmore…

SWalker on January 30, 2013 at 9:55 PM

What?

Bmore on January 31, 2013 at 12:38 AM

What can possibly be bad about our government forcing us to burn our food?

MJBrutus on January 31, 2013 at 7:03 AM

OK so their csrs break down on the side of the road.

Am I missing something?

WryTrvllr on January 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM

It won’t matter until their Csar’s break down on the side of the road.

jpmn on January 31, 2013 at 7:36 AM

We’re lucky we can purchase non-ethanol “enhanced” fuel here. Our
small engines are grateful.

Mr. Arrogant on January 31, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Corn is a global commodity. Forcing us to burn it for fuel has decreased the supply f corn available for food and has had serious impact on the world’s poor who spend most of their income on food.

Ethanol from corn is not just economically and environmentally foolish, it is immoral. But we all know that the Left don’t really care about people, especially poor people.

Charlemagne

That should be sufficient argument to get this idiotic process banned by any right thinking government.

Crusader Rabbit on January 31, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Ethanol makers, who are facing growing political headwinds, said the study was flawed and that the problems it identifies might be tied to car components, not the fuel. …

Well, if the components work just fine with straight gasoline or with E10, but fail with an E15 mixture, I’d say it’s the fuel. They can probably make new cars resistant to the effects, but any of us driving older cars (like my 2005 Mazda 3) are scrubdorf.

unclesmrgol on January 31, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Growth Energy, a pro-ethanol group…

http://www.growthenergy.org/about-growth-energy/structure-members/leadership-board-of-directors/

I don’t see a single Chemical Engineer in this whole group of rent seeking garbage. A lot of Law Degrees for some strange reason…

MNHawk on January 31, 2013 at 9:48 AM

When you’re burning your food as fuel while oceans of inedible fuel are buried just under the ground then you are doing it wrong.

Bishop on January 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Thread Winner! If you don’t mind Sir, I am going to use this one at the next family get together. :o)

Bulletchaser on January 31, 2013 at 10:25 AM

I have a somewhat different take on this. It’s OUR corn. We can do with it what we damn well please. If the world doesn’t like higher corn prices, then bloody well grow your own corn. I notice that Zimbabwe is no longer growing food due to the completion of the White Genocide there.

Too bad.

If we want to grow corn and turn it all into alcohol we can. We owe the World nothing. America has fed the World for decades, instituted the research for genetically engineered food crops that are superior and cured World diseases. Now we are experimenting with alcohol in cars (like Brazil) so we are using some of our corn.

Too effing bad.

Bulletchaser on January 31, 2013 at 10:37 AM

I have a somewhat different take on this. It’s OUR corn. We can do with it what we damn well please.

Bulletchaser on January 31, 2013 at 10:37 AM

No, it isn’t “our” corn. The corn belongs to the farmers who grew it. And by the same token, they aren’t “our” cars – my car is MY car, and no one should get to tell me that I have to buy ethanol-based fuel to drive it.

ATG on January 31, 2013 at 11:26 AM

I have a somewhat different take on this. It’s MY car. I can do with it what I damn well please. If the rent seekers don’t like higher gas mileage in my car from using pure gas, then bloody well put the gasohol garbage in your own car.

MNHawk on January 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM

I have a somewhat different take on this. It’s MY car. I can do with it what I damn well please.

MNHawk on January 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM

You obviously don’t understand government mandates – you don’t have a choice.

But hey, this is a free country, right?

woodNfish on January 31, 2013 at 12:51 PM

I stand corrected.

Bulletchaser on January 31, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Ethanol should be used to feed unicorns.

No other use makes any sense whatsoever.

PS: Unicorn feed should be subsidized ONLY if a genuine unicorn requests it in writing.

landlines on January 31, 2013 at 9:00 PM