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Ethanol Subsidy Lives On

… and you’re gonna pay for it! $0.45 per gallon of ethanol used in gasoline, to be exact. There was a vote yesterday on an amendment introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla. to eliminate the ethanol subsidy, and it remains in force. It’s actually a triple-whammy. There’s the 45-cent subsidy, a 54-cent per gallon tariff on cheaper sugar cane derived ethanol (to drive it out of the market), and the up to 10% ethanol blend requirement - all worth $6 billion annually. Fully 40% of domestic corn production goes into ethanol for gasoline. The 45-cent per gallon subsidy ends at the end of the year unless it is renewed. If you don’t like it, contact your senators and congressman. Corn State citizens don’t like it? Let them eat corn! Or maybe drink it. I’m going to contact my representatives. What about you?

Thanks for putting me in a bad mood, JTS! Corporate welfare at its worst, because we’d be better off NOT putting any ethanol in the gas, period. A lose/lose for most folks.

You’re welcome, buddy. Why should I be the only one PO’d about it? And we do have the opportunity to tell our elected representatives our opinions on the matter. That’s the most important thing.

Could it be possible…is it within the realm of physics…is there a possibility… that some gas companies will drop the gas with the ethanol content in order to undrecut their competition, who will then have to do the same? Is it possible that in this insane world market forces will rule over politics???

Naw. Somehow the lobbyists will get to the politicians and ethanol will stay in the gas.

Oh, I think that ethanol will remain as a substitute for MTBE. But it could be a lot cheaper. And I believe that if the corn growers can’t compete with the sugar growers, that’s just too bad.

As much as we would like to see the subsidy for ethanol use eliminated, until there is an alternative, the price of gas will jump that amount. There are additives that can alleviate some of the problems. Consumers have to pay for that too now. So in reality we are getting it stuck to us at both ends. Don’t alternative energy sources begin to look better ?

Ethanol is not going anywhere, but the subsidy is not needed. As for the tariff, if it’s dropped, we will wind up burning the cheaper IMPORTED cane ethanol… That sounds great, but we can’t afford to import any more stuff, especially fuel…

I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I support Coburn (always voted for him) but the representative for the U.S. House 6th District here is a lost cause. He’s a farmer (ancestrally) and his sole reason for existing is pushing through any existing farm program and/or coming up with new ones.

Caddyman, I agree that the subsidies should be discontinued. But if imported ethanol is indeed cheaper than perhaps we can’t afford NOT to import it. In better economic times I might feel differently, but we need to dig ourselves out of a very deep hole right now. Let’s do that before we start thinking about what kind of flowers we want to plant.

Dag, let’s let the free market decide. As regards alternative energy, I’ve long been a strong advocate of that as long as it doesn’t create more serious problems in the future than it solves in the present. I’m for wind power, I’m for hydroelectric power, I’m for wave generated energy, I’m for solar power and combinations of these, I’m very much an advocate of EVs, but I’m against nuclear power.

I believe EVs will ultimately become commonplace. Even with current energy storage technology, they’ve been proven to be able to have a range that fits most peoples’ daily needs as well as to be able to be attractive vehicles. Charging stations are starting to appear.Tesla and Fisker will be leaders in the field. Even Rolls Royce has created an all-electric research car. I don’t believe GM can do it successfully, as I think saving them from themselves allowed many of their poor corporate philosophy (risk aversion for one) to continue as usual. Ford just might become a player under Mulally.

I don’t think that GM is risk-averse anymore. The MBAs aren’t running the company now. Just look at what they have introduced lately: Chevy Malibu, Buick Regal, new Buick Lacrosse, Chevy Cruze, and the whole Cadillac lineup. This is not the same company that brought us the old Malibu and the Aztek. Former GM board chairman Rick Wagoner was interviewed on the radio this morning and he said that the old way was to decide interior sizes and then turn it over to the design team to fit a body around it. Those days are over. And believe it or not, he seems to be the happiest that those days are behind GM.

Sugar ethanol works. Corn ethanol is BOGUS.

We need a regime change, and not just at the top. They all need to go.

This is just one more thing in a long line of BS, and it costs all of us money. There are sane alternatives to this and other problems, but they are not being considered because the current crop of legislators (both House and Senate) is beholden to corporate interests. That’s where the money is.

That’s also where the corruption is. Vote them all out!

Except maybe Dennis Kucinich.


And, what the heck, let’s end these ridiculous, extremely expensive “wars,” we’re currently trapped in. I fail to see what we’re gaining. Can anyone explain this to me?

I’d love to hear someone explain return on investment in either Iraq or Afghanistan. The Soviets tried it in Afghanistan. It’s not to hard to find out why they gave up and went home. Why do we think it will be any different for us?

Let’s bring our troops home and save billions of dollars per month.

If we weren’t paying for these crazy “wars” we could have a real, functioning, national healthcare system, couldn’t we?

And maybe rebuild our failing infrastructure and put lots of people back to work.

Or am I totally out in left field?

So, anyway, sugar ethanol; good, corn ethanol; bad, just like “Animal Farm.”

I’m going to time how long it takes for this post to be flagged and removed, starting now.

If we bring the troops home, then we don’t need troops period…Our Military does not want to face that reality…

And our “farmers” (agri-corps) don’t want to face life without the $250 Billion in subsidies they get every year…

I wouldn’t necessarily label it as corruption. The corn state legislators have an interest in providing jobs and income at home. They are looking out for their constituents. Yes, they could take a larger view as House Speaker John Boehner did when he declined the opportunity to ram rod a second engine for the F35. That engine would have been built in Ohio; possibly even in his district. Other elected representatives might not care so much about the deficit or be as willing to walk the walk. And if we don’t contact our Senators and Congressmen they won’t know that we want them to let the subsidies expire at the end of the year. Try a little experiment. Tell them what you think on this issue and see if they get back to you. When I’ve done this in the past, I’ve gotten vague form responses, but I’ve also gotten responses that directly answered the issues I mentioned. See how they do and let this little experiment inform you vote when election time comes.

I don’t like ethanol either but to look at it positively, the infrastructure is in place to market ethanol from plant material other than corn when the process of making it becomes economically available and you can be sure that is undergoing serious development. The good times for corn farmers may then be over. Ethanol may thought of an weak alternative now to OPEC petroleum that could be pushed into serious use if absolutely needed. Keep in mind that distiller’s grain, left over from corn ethanol production is fed to farm animals; does not go to waste. Cattle don’t like it alone so it has to be mixed with other feedstocks.

As far as the wars go, to look at them in a positive way, weapons designers, army people and spy people all use them to practice and improve their methods. That is costly, of course, to the people who are wounded and killed.

If you write your congressman, be nice and then you should get a reply. If you blow off steam to him/her in a vindictive and nasty manner, you may be discounted as a hot tempered person not capable of reason. Your letter to your congressman will be taken seriously but your thoughts must be averaged in with many others as well as the congressman’s political persuasion. I once read that for every person that writes, there are 10 more who believe the same but don’t bother to write so your letter will have more impact than you might believe.

Good news! The US Senate voted overwhelmingly yesterday to end the 45-cent per gallon (of ethanol) subsidy and also to end the 54-cent per gallon tarrif on imported sugar cane ethanol. The article also stated that even if these subsidies last until the end of the year, they are unlikely to be renewed as they must be to remain into 2012.

Now we need to eliminate the oil subsidies, which are similar in size - about $23 billion over the next 4 years. Let your elected representatives hear how you feel about that, too.

@Wha Who?: I agree that any correspondence with elected representatives should be professional. There is no excuse for personal attacks. That would never bring anyone around to different side of an arguement.

i think the senate passed a bill to kill ethanol subsidies. we must stop using our corn for this boon doggle backed by BUSSHY. well, if i was a farmer this is a great idea, what an uninformed fool

The world price of GASOLINE and DIESEL fuel has become unstable…World-wide demand is growing rapidly and we can’t control that…Some very smart people feel that fuel prices are less than 2 years away from crossing the $5/gallon mark…At that price-point, alternative fuels like ethanol need no subsidy to remain a viable product in an open market…Liquified Natural Gas will go from “Not practical” to “Why didn’t we do this before”…

The world price is fine. The price denominated in dollars is a problem, since the dollar has dropped in value 14% in the last two years. Of course, Bush is to blame.

…and now we hit the political side of the discussion…

You can choose to blame whoever you like. The world markets could care less who sits in the White House. Seems to me Obama has increased the national debt as much as anyone who held that particular office. And getting into the politics of the discussion is pointless.

“Of course, Bush is to blame.”

How convenient! It seems to me, though that there is plenty of blame to go around. The issues that led to the collapse of the markets go back to the last century. Many presidents and other elected representatives presided over the fiasco. Democrat leaders jawboned to induce Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make low interest home loans to economic groups that never had the opportunity before. The groups were the ones first laid off and unable to pay their mortgages. Now look at where we are. That same effort to open loans to low income recipients destroyed FNMA and initiated it’s demise.