Friday, June 18, 2010

Ethanol Tries to Sieze the Moment

I was getting ready for dinner last night when I spied a commercial on CNN from Growth Energy, a lobbying group behind ethanol.  The 15 second spot simply stated, "No beaches have been closed due to ethanol spills." 

Very clever.  It failed to mention, however, how much virgin rain forest has been cleared in South America for agricultural uses or how much diesel fuel and fresh water goes into the production of corn for ethanol.  Trifling issues, I'm sure.

The other day I suggested that by force of coincidence that the natural gas industry missed the opportunity to promote its product in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  You can't exactly talk about safety with well blowouts and pipeline cuts making the news. 

Ethanol doesn't have the same problem.  A couple of years have passed since the Great Food Price Shock that made the nation leery of committing too much of our agricultural resources to the production of biofuels. Memories are short, and the ethanol industry is ready to make a new push.  It will be back at the trough looking for more subsidies (it is an election year, after all) and it will be pushing its E15 standard to bump the ethanol mandate percentage up five points. 

Hold on to your wallets - the corn train is coming!

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