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Old 05-02-2008, 10:57 AM   #21
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When was the last time oil rose more than 50 cents?
Old 05-02-2008, 02:29 PM   #22
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When was the last time oil rose more than 50 cents?

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Originally Posted by d View Post
ethanol is likely not economically viable even at current gas prices, and perhaps not at all. it's pure politics.
Ethanol subsidies increase the profitability but don't make it profitable in itself. The subsidy existed for years but produced no ethanol because it was not economic with the low cost of oil. With oil rising by leaps and bounds, it is becoming ever more profitable at roughly 1 bu corn to 2 gal gas, taking into account the lower energy content of ethanol. If gas increases $1 gal, expect corn to increase $2 bu.

There are crop subsidies that have kept food prices artificially low. These are disappearing now since ethanol is economic. Eliminating those subsidies would slow ethanol but not lower food prices. Politics are bad, but in this case, economics is worse.
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Old 05-02-2008, 02:38 PM   #23
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"Why Not Lose the Ethanol Mandate??"
Follow the money.

Monsanto
ConAgra

There're no lobbie$ for anything that doesn't make some big constituent money.
Logic be damned.
ADM is probably the biggest. (Kind of long, but instructive.)
Archer Daniels Midland: A Case Study In Corporate Welfare
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Old 05-02-2008, 02:55 PM   #24
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Ethanol is a short-term solution that is intended to help continue to utilize the current infrastructure and the internal combustion engine. It combined with the Hybrid will probably be replaced by some all (or primary electric) electric vehicle in 10 years.
A short-term solution to bridge the gap with more supply until we have a robust and affordable alternative to burning gas.

You mean like ANWR?
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:24 PM   #25
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I'm surprised the politicians would touch this:

Democrat Barack Obama said Sunday the federal government might need to rethink its support for corn ethanol because of rising food prices, a stance similar to Republican John McCain's but at odds with farm states considered important to the November election.
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:43 PM   #26
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Im glad they both touched it. As a voter than means something to me
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:20 PM   #27
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Correct me if I'm wrong but there seems to be some confusion in this thread with regard to ethanol as a fuel or as an additive to reduce CO.

(1) Like MTBE, ethanol can be used as an additive to reduce CO emissions. Of course the ethanol does burn but I don't think that the % ethanol is as high as when it is used primarily as a fuel rather than as an additive.

(2) Of course ethanol can also be blended with gasoline and the mixture can be used as a fuel.

I think that it makes sense to use ethanol as an additive to reduce CO particularly in cities such as LA. I certainly prefer it to MTBE.

I haven't looked into it in detail but ethanol for fuel from corn seems to be as much about politics and subsidies for the farm belt as about good energy policy.

Hopefully ethanol from other bio-sources will make more sense in the future.

MB
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