Friday, March 22, 2013

ADM (ADM) Digging Collector Wells in Decatur

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is breaking ground on two wells in the Decatur region, raising controversy over its draining of the water supply for the residents in the area.

The demand for water from ADM is so strong it has resulted in major changes to the Decatur water system which will result in residents having water rates soaring by about 120 percent over the next three years.

This is happening because no matter what the source of grain to make the ethanol is, it's an extremely water-intensive production process which demands a lot of water.

They will be 40-foot collector wells dug out on property held by ADM in the Decatur area. There is a glacial aquifier beneath Lake Decatur that is being tapped into by the company. The company says the wells are not connected to the lake water in any way. 

What the wells are meant to do is provide a water source no matter what the drought conditions or weather patterns are.

The two new wells could extract as much as seven million gallons of water a day for the North Water Treatment Plant, which normally will pull over 14 million gallons daily from Lake Decatur.
People and watchdog groups are concerned over the way the water is being allocated to the company at the expense of the population in the region.

This is why the free market and not the government should be the decision-maker concerning products and services people want. Ethanol isn't hardly on the radar of the majority of people, and for those that have it on their radar, it's more out of concern the damage it can cause their equipment than anything else.

There is no doubt the huge demand for water isn't worth the costs associated with it in this case. The city and region are still looking for alternative water sources while ADM sucks up the vast majority of what is available. It really makes no sense at all.

Valero Energy (VLO) Resumes Ethanol Production in Linden

Saying the margins have improved for ethanol production, Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) announced it has restarted production at its Linden, Indiana plant. It had been closed since last year as margins shrunk.

A drop in the price of corn is the main contributor to the improved margins, as the price has dropped to $7.26-1/4 a bushel, down 14 percent from an all-time high of $8.43-3/4 a bushel.

In February and March Valero has started three plants that had been idled. All ten of its U.S. ethanol plants are now producing. All the plants have the capacity to produce about 110 million gallons of ethanol on an annual basis.

With drought conditions expected to continue on into the summer, it'll be interesting to see if the resume of productions of the plants are premature or not.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Politicians: Just Say No to Ethanol

The problem of government involvement in the markets is they without fail always screw it up and the result is unintended consequences. That's the case with ethanol, an artificial construct in America which couldn't survive without subsidies and worse: legal force requiring its use.

This is the case even with the horrid idea of corn-based ethanol, which demands enormous inputs that are worse than the alleged problem ethanol is being used to fix.

Now the industry is whining in Washington through their lobbyists as just about everyone is coming against the corn-based ethanol industry created by the government, but now not able to meet the goals imposed by that very government on it.

According to the shady federal law, big refiners like Exxon Mobil (XOM) are forced to use a specified amount of renewable fuels like ethanol annually. If they don't they have to buy production credits, which have soared in price on concerns the federal mandate for ethanol usage won't be met.

so we have an artificial industry, an artificial fuel, an artificial law, and an artificial payment energy companies must make in order to meet federal guidelines. No wonder everyone hates the American ethanol industry.

Among the haters of ethanol are groups trying to help the poor and hungry, who have to pay much more for food because of the rise in corn prices because of government laws. Not only is corn itself rising in price, but other foods that corn is used to feed like chickens and cattle, along with dairy products. Most food using corn also rises in price because approximately 40 percent of the corn crop goes into this loser of an industry which doesn't deserve to even exist because there is little real demand from consumers for it.

From an environmental viewpoint, not only is the inputs to grow corn among the highest in agriculture, but the need for more land to plant corn has led to the destruction of wetlands and grasslands.

While I'm not as concerned there, it does show the absolute hypocrisy of the government which pretends it is concerned about those areas until a pet program of the government overrides those alleged concerns.

Ethanol as an additive of any kind must be abandoned completely, and the market left to decide what it wants to use as a fuel.

The ethanol debacle confirms what most of us already know: the government doesn't belong in the market, and needs to keep its hands out of it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Brazil to Remove Ethanol Tax

The Brazilian government plans to exempt fuel ethanol of certain taxes that if approved by regulators could be equivalent to 10 per cent of the pump price, the Valor Economico newspaper reported on Monday.

The government could lift the so-called PIS/Cofins taxes applied to the biofuel as soon as April, the newspaper said without saying how it acquired the information.

Valor Economico reported that the plan merely needs the signature of Energy Minister Edison Lobao, who in February said the government was considering the tax break to revive investments in the cane ethanol industry.

continue reading ...

Wisconsin Plant May Produce Cellulosic Ethanol

A Wisconsin ethanol plant could break into the cellulosic ethanol market thanks to a partnership with a New York-based cellulosic sugar producer.

Ace Ethanol of Stanley, which opened in 2002 as Wisconsin’s first large-scale corn ethanol production facility, has signed a long-term commercial agreement with Sweetwater Energy, Inc., from Rochester, N.Y., to generate cellulosic ethanol at Ace’s plant for up to 16 years.

Sweetwater’s process will convert non-food biomass such as crop residues, energy crops and woody biomass into highly fermentable sugar, which Ace will ferment into ethanol.

The contract has a potential value in excess of $100 million

Continue reading ...

Another Clueless Ethanol Supporter

Of all the ethanol articles I've read, this one is probably the most ignorant I've ever seen.

For example, this silly, misguided elitist person talks down to people in Tennessee, saying they need more ethanol education there because gas station owners were marketing gas that had no ethanol in it.

She asks this meaningless question: "So how does a fuel like ethanol remain a fuel choice for more than 100 years if it is so harmful? If that were the case, than how has oil remained a fuel choice for more than 100 years?"

The 100 year nonsense is a reference to her saying Model T's from long ago used ethanol in them. I wonder how many operating Model T's survived that disastrous practice.

Also pointed out is the assertion E15 is the most tested fuel in American history. So what? Those very tests have found that E15 does do damage to many cars. Testing it is irrelevant. The results of those test are what count, and E15 is a disaster by any metric.

Even E10 is a disaster, as it has done enormous damage to all sorts of machinery using small engines; including lawn mowers, chainsaws, and even snowmobiles, among many others.

She makes it sound like people want ethanol in their cars and other machinery. It's not true whatsoever. Americans are forced to use ethanol by law, and if it was taken out of the market tomorrow, only a few goofy, radical environmentalists would care.