by William Teach | May 5, 2009 10:57 am
There’s absolutely no wonder in this, considering how Obama was in the pocket of Big Ethanol during the campaign that he promised not to undertake till he finished his first term as a Senator
The Obama administration on Tuesday will step up efforts to increase the availability of ethanol at filling stations and to speed up subsidies to struggling biofuel producers. But the trade-off is that the administration is also expected to propose a rule that could make certain biofuels look less climate-friendly.
See, there is a wee bit of a problem, in that corn based ethanol and several other versions tend to put out much more CO2 then gasoline, not to mention that the power it provides is considerably less then gasoline. Not to mention the enormous amounts of energy and water required to make it. Not to mention the amount of land required. If all the land is being used to grow corn, where will we put all the solar panels?
At a news conference led by the heads of the Agriculture Department, Energy Department and Environmental Protection Agency, the administration is expected to announce the creation of an interagency group that will be charged with forging a plan to encourage the production of more automobiles that can run on high-level ethanol blends, and increase the availability of high-level ethanol blends at gasoline stations.
President Barack Obama is also expected to direct the Agriculture Department to expedite the awarding of loan guarantees to support the development and construction of more biofuel refineries.
And there you have it. $$$ going to an industry that gave heavily to his campaign.
But at the same time, the EPA is expected to propose measuring the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with biofuel production — including emissions that result overseas when farmers world-wide respond to higher food prices by converting forest and grassland to cropland. The EPA decision could undercut the environmental rationale the ethanol industry has used to sustain support for its government subsidies.
Ethanol is a nice idea, which, like so many pulled from a unicorn’s butt to combat the made up issue of anthropogenic global warming, never seems to be thought out. Or be viable. Cost effective. Sustainable. Worthwhile. Add your own descriptor.
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