9 thoughts on “An End To The Ethanol Scam?”

  1. I gotta wonder what the economic blowback will be on dismantling this vast crop-wasting machine. There’s a hell of a lot of malinvestment in ethanol processing plants and the like all across the corn belt. Long run, wrapping it up is indisputably in the national interest. Short run, that’s a significant number of unemployed & blown-up investment capital.

    The fact that the capital was wasted the moment it was dedicated to processing perfectly good foodstock into indifferent fuelstock is going to be kind of irrelevant in the heat of the moment.

  2. Dismantle? Surely a hundred billion dollar bailout for would be more fashionable. It’s too politically correct big to fail.

  3. In the EU it is mostly crap like biodiesel from canola (or worse). I kind of understand why the programs are in progress from an (almost) rational point of view. The French farmers need their subsidies. The EU has next to no oil since Norway is not a part of the EU. Even if Norway was part of the EU there is little oil considering the whole EU population requirements. Denmark has small amounts of oil. The Netherlands have limited amounts of natural gas. Most energy is imported from our friendly neighbors at Russia and Algeria. Yes we are screwed.

    There are some places with shale. I think Estonia is one of them. The Germans have lignite. Most coal mines have been closed. That’s about it for cheap carbon feedstocks which can be used to produce hydrocarbon fuel. This is dismal. We need to cooperate with the US on shale oil.

    I think the EU is one of the economic blocks with the best chance of a successful deployment of electric vehicles given the ranges people drive daily, and the lack of home grown alternatives for transportation energy. Now we just need someone to figure out the energy for this.

    It would also be neat if someone made a way to create synthetic hydrocarbons from, say, ocean CO2, H2O, and then a bit of power and you would get oil. Oh right. That would be an algae. Sorry about that. Yeah algae biodiesel is an interesting concept that should be doable. But people need to get out into the field, test more, and genetically engineer the algae more.

  4. On an unrelated note, what did you folks think about the new UK PM. I am particularly interested in his proposal to immediately mothball Harrier, leaving the UK with no viable aircraft carriers. Even the Spanish will be able to laugh at their faces then.

  5. I kind of like the idea of fuel from biomass, especially from waste biomass otherwise disposed of. There’s something attractive about a facility where garbage and sewage go in, and fuel, clean water, and other mineral resources come out. But subsidies and mandates supporting conversion of food into fuel are just plane twisted bad.

  6. There’s no logical reason to use food crops to produce ethanol when you can use urban and rural garbage and sewage to produce methanol which can be converted into high octane gasoline. Every community in America that is producing garbage could also be producing carbon neutral gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and dimethyl ether– which means practically every community in America!

  7. There are multiple routes from multiple feedstocks to liquid fuels. The government shouldn’t be choosing a winner; they have no incentive to get it right (vs. feeding parasitic interests in return for campaign donation kickbacks.)

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