Distilling Still — After All These Years

Ethanol

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By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 -2011

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Last year we wrote about Climate Gore’s confession that ethanol and the total government dole for its production was a mistake.  This was close to December 31, 2010 when sensible people believed the subsidies would be voted out of existence.

Well, it didn’t happen and it still hasn’t happened in full, although a vote in the US Senate (yesterday) might be considered a mixed signal ethanol’s stench has come and  gone.  Here’s part of the story from Bloomberg reported by Richard Rubin and Steven Sloan:

The U.S. Senate voted to eliminate a tax credit and a tariff that subsidize ethanol production, providing the strongest signal yet that Congress will curtail subsidies for corn-based biofuel.

The 73-27 vote exceeded the 60-vote threshold needed to advance the measure as part of an economic development bill. The underlying legislation isn’t likely to become law, so the vote mostly indicated that it will be difficult for ethanol supporters to extend the 45-cent-a-gallon tax break and the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff beyond their scheduled Dec. 31 expiration.

According to the Bloomberg report, the vote followed regional lines with big corn and ethanol producing states voting to defeat the bill.  While the Republicans mouth they are for a balanced budget, they can’t seem to match their words with their votes. Dan Coats (R-Indiana) said:

“There is essentially agreement that this subsidy has to be phased out and taken away, and the producers of ethanol agree,” said Senator Dan Coats, an Indiana Republican who voted against ending the ethanol subsidies.

Brazilian producers of sugarcane ethanol had their say, and sadly Obama’s administration, through the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, had its say:

‘Improve Demand’

“As long as the federal mandates remain, ethanol demand is not going to collapse,” Hollander said. “The sharp drop in prices this week only helps to improve demand for corn.”

Leticia Phillips, the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association’s representative in North America, said in a statement that the Senate vote to end the credit and tariff on imported ethanol “will help lower fuel prices and provide Americans with greater access to clean and affordable fuels like sugarcane ethanol.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reiterated the Obama administration’s opposition to ending the ethanol credit now and said the Senate measure “isn’t the right approach.”

This playing with words and speaking out of both sides of their pie holes does nothing to resolve the deficit and continues corporate farming and refining welfare which has continued long past its useful life.  The scheme of corn ethanol never made a lot of sense and a total 95 cent a gallon subsidy forces demand for ethanol to stay priced out of any sensible market.

Here’s a link to the rest of the article. and here is a link to my November 2010 article (Finally A Gore We Can Believe In — Somewhat)

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