Ag Secretary Vilsack: You know what we really need? More advanced biofuels!

posted at 8:01 pm on February 21, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Spare us, can’t you? Because it would be really great if we could all just stop pretending that the federal government’s protestations of love for biofuels is about anything other than keeping their BFFs, Big Ethanol, happy. Looking at you, Vilsack.

The ethanol industry is again being threatened and U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is putting out a warning to leaders in states like Nebraska, the nation’s number-two ethanol producer. Vilsack says ethanol is clean-burning, renewable and helps reduce dependence on foreign oil.

“This is an important industry to agriculture. It’s an important industry to consumers of this country because you absolutely pay less at the pump because we have a healthy renewable fuels industry,” Vilsack told reporters after his private meetings at the statehouse. “The renewable fuels standard is the lynchpin to that healthy industry. It’s also the lynchpin to further investments in advanced biofuels that will allow us to expand significantly beyond corn-based ethanol, which will be a good thing.”

Vilsack says U-S senators is oil-producing states are pushing legislation that would get rid of the renewable fuels standard.

Yes, that’s because nobody likes the Renewable Fuels Standard except you. Plenty of environmentalists aren’t fans of biofuels, because they incentivize bringing marginal lands into production and have very questionable net effects in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The government’s special treatment of ethanol jacks up food prices at home and abroad, distorts market signals, and wastes taxpayer dollars, so I doubt the informed consumer is amused. The auto industry certainly isn’t endeared, since studies have shown ethanol blends gum up cars, and obviously, traditional fuel indutries aren’t really into it. Yeah, pretty sure it’s just the federal government and their cronyish agribusiness interests.

Speaking of, remember that lawsuit last month in which oil groups sued the EPA, which was trying to punish said oil groups for failing to comply with a cellulosic biofuels mandate… for biofuels that still do not exist? The appeals court ruled that the EPA couldn’t enforce the mandate for 2012, but didn’t dissolve the mandate altogether — and the interested lobbies are trying to take that one to the highest court in the land.

A coalition of industry groups asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to reconsider a lower court’s finding in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 decision to allow sales of the high-ethanol fuel blend known as E15.

In a petition to the High Court, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and several groups representing the food industry are seeking to overturn January’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The appellate court sided with EPA’s permitting the sale of E15 – gasoline with 15 percent ethanol, rather than the standard 10-percent blend – for cars made after 2001. …

“Had EPA stayed within its statutory authority and followed proper procedures, it would have waited until ongoing E15 testing on engines and fuel systems was completed before allowing the use of E15,” said Bob Greco, API’s director of downstream and industry operations. “Then it would have discovered that E15 is not safe for millions of vehicles now on the road.”

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No fix for stupid.

Bmore on February 21, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Lynchpin is just another racist dog whistle code word.

Curtiss on February 21, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Marvelous idea! Burn ‘food stocks’ in our cars!

GarandFan on February 21, 2013 at 8:24 PM

…drink it and right away… toke a fat one you azz!

KOOLAID2 on February 21, 2013 at 8:26 PM

“Then it would have discovered that E15 is not safe for millions of vehicles now on the road.”

The EPA was and is 100 percent fully aware of this. It is and was their plan to force a fuel on America that would result in millions of vehicles, deemed by the Enviro-Nazi’s heading up the EPA to be climate killing gross polluting vehicles, to be damaged to the point that they would be forcibly removed from operation.

SWalker on February 21, 2013 at 8:27 PM

I bet Tom Vilsack has never shucked a single ear of corn. I bet he hasn’t smoked any corn silk either.These are both prerequisites for having any informed opinion on corn.

Curtiss on February 21, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Just as soon as Tom gets back from time traveling 200 years into the future with the recipe we can get started.

tim c on February 21, 2013 at 8:41 PM

We should probably start electing more scientists and engineers so they can slap the hands of lawyers attempting alchemy with tax dollars.

MechanicalBill on February 21, 2013 at 8:42 PM

What would you expect from Vilsack? He also said that Food Stamps create jobs.

Howard Portnoy on February 21, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Eliminate the cafe standards. We Don’t need them. Drill baby drill. Stop putting corn in our gas.

JellyToast on February 21, 2013 at 9:11 PM


You’re awfully close to making sense; shame on you. /

FOWG1 on February 21, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Ag Secretary Vilsack: You know what we really need? More advanced biofuels!

We need a lot of things, dumba$$, but if the technology’s not there and it’s not cost effective, it won’t work.

You can’t just wish really, really hard and it make it reality.

Now, if you’re trying to scam the American people and corporations out of some more $, then I can actually get where you’re coming from, Mr. Secretary.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 21, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Hey! What we REALLY need is More Energy-Producing, Second Law of Thermodynamics-Violating Fairies!!

They make Power out of Nothing FOR FREE!

williamg on February 22, 2013 at 12:17 AM

Or,or, we watch Algore boink anything but a tree stump

jake49 on February 22, 2013 at 4:50 AM

We need nuclear and fusion power! Non-foodcrop ethanol makes sense for certain applications, but man, lets drill!

Or do as Newt! suggested, drill on the surface of the sun. Solar lampposts for everyone and a lunar chicken in every pot.

antisense on February 22, 2013 at 7:23 AM

Revolution next Tuesday from 1:00 – 2:30. Meet at the Jefferson Memorial (just because it’s sooo appropriate). Ninety minutes enough time to retake our country, or do we need a full two hours?

Short of a revolution (of much longer duration, obviously) I do not see a way to purge the big-gov mindset (NSA, you listening?). Too bad we can’t just declare a political bankruptcy and renegotiate the stupid out of the system.

NeoCon_1 on February 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM


api on February 28, 2013 at 9:32 AM