Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oregon Admits Ethanol Damages Engines

Good Ethanol-free Gas Now Available in Oregon

Pressure from consumers (voters) caused Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski to change Oregon law in order to sell premium gasoline with ethanol blended with it, as outraged consumers rebel against the horrid fuel as it destroys their expensive small engine products.

Now Oregonians will have good gas available for their machines as before only a few scattered stations sold ethanol free gas, and it was prohibitive to get it for many in the state.

All gas stations across the state can now sell good gas, and hopefully this will encourage other states to follow, and get rid of this worthless, tax payer-financed boondoggle that, while promoting some political careers, is devastating to consumers and the environment, in name of, of course, the environment.

This is nothing new, as boat motor owners, chainsaw owners, snowmobile owners, law mower owners, and any small engine machinery owner of any kind have discovered: ethanol is bad gas, and the sooner we get rid of the misguided policy, the better.

What this does is confirm what was always known - but stubbornly and criminally neglected - that ethanol is damaging, and needs to be completely rejected, as the industry can't survive unless as another socialist industry that people simply have no desire to underwrite, and in an alleged free market like the united States, shouldn't have to.

Incredibly, federal authorities and regulators are actually thinking about increasing ethanol blends to 15 percent, which many fear would start to damage some automobiles as well.

Antique autos already suffer from having to use the gas, although in Oregon, that has now changed.

How about some class action lawsuits to destroy this industry forever. Nobody but politicians and greed big business farmers want this to continue, and that's not a good enough reason to destroy poor people through higer food prices because of the artificial industry, and that includes many of the poorest countries in the world, which resulted in food riots because of high prices from the ethanol nonsense.

Good Ethanol-free Gas Now Available in Oregon

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ethanol Will Raise Food Prices, Harm Environment


As usual, the U.S. government is turning a blind eye to the truth and facts, and continues down the disastrous path of subsidizing ethanol, which will continue to cause huge problems in the near and distant future.

The U.S. government's plan to increase its ethanol mandate will mean higher food prices and more harm to the environment, according to an impact study conducted for two groups that oppose the increase.

"We continue to believe the government's excessive support of the mature corn-based ethanol industry is simply wrong, since it means burning food for fuel," spokesman Gary Mickelson of Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale said in a statement after Bill Lapp, an agricultural analyst, released his study.

"This policy has contributed to higher corn prices, which have led to increased input costs for food makers — including independent livestock producers — and higher food prices for consumers," Mickelson said.

Corn is a major expense to poultry and beef producers, who want to reduce costs. Ethanol is a fuel additive distilled from plants. That distilling is a major market for corn that corn growers want to increase.

The federal government has a mandate that 10 percent of the fuel coming out of commercial gasoline pumps must be ethanol blended into the gasoline. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a rule to increase that mandate to 15 percent. The government also maintains a tariff of 54 cents a gallon on imported ethanol.

A recent study from the Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri determined approval of 15-percent ethanol blends would increase corn prices by just $0.04 per bushel, ethanol advocates said in response to Lapp's study.

Increasing the ethanol mandate to 15 percent would require planting as much as 111 million acres of corn, according to Lapp's study. Ethanol would use almost half of the corn crop harvested by 2015. The Grocery Manufacturers Association commissioned the study. The U.S. corn acreage in 2008 was about 85 million acres, U.S. Department of Agriculture figures show.

"Corn and soybean meal are major production costs in the poultry industry, representing 47% of the cost of growing a chicken in 2008," Mickelson said. "Tyson's annual corn and soybean meal expenditures almost doubled from fiscal 2006 to fiscal 2008 and ethanol was a significant reason for the increase."

These arguments have been heard before, the pro-ethanol Renewable Fuels Association replied.

"Time and again, American farmers have answered the need for food, feed and renewable fuel," said association President Bob Dinneen in a statement. "Yet, time and again well-heeled groups seeking to derail the expansion of ethanol are trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

"Many will recall last summer's effort to finger ethanol as skyrocketing oil prices, a weak dollar, speculation, droughts, and global demand drove grain and food prices higher," Dinneen's statement said. "At the time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas A&M University , and scores of other reputable analysts found such claims to be biased, overblown and outrageous. Even the Congressional Budget Office has looked at the issue and found that energy prices had 3 times the impact on the rising price of food than was the increased use of ethanol. Despite being thoroughly refuted last summer and lacking credibility on the issue, these groups are back at it again."

The ethanol industry is struggling even at its current 10 percent mandate. The fall in fuel prices from last year's record highs has severely hurt ethanol interests, industry figures show.

Ethanol's chief use in the United States is for a fuel additive. Ethanol in gasoline reduces carbon emissions and the price of gasoline, advocates say. However, ethanol plants are hard-pressed to make a profit when fuel prices are as low as they are now, according to industry figures -- even though gasoline prices remain higher than $2.50 a gallon at the pump.

At least 10 ethanol companies have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the past year, Bloomberg Business News reports. Valero Energy Corp., the nation's largest independent oil refiner, became an ethanol plant owner in April by buying up seven Midwestern ethanol plants for pennies on the dollar compared to the original investment, Associated Press reports.

"You are going to see this become a trend ... especially with the government wanting to go green," Daniel Flynn, an analyst who follows the renewable fuels industry for Chicago-based Alaron Trading, told Associated Press about the Valero buy. "There are a lot of these ethanol plants hanging by a hair. This could be the perfect time for the big companies to step in."

The U.S. Energy Department reported last week that gasoline supplies climbed 3.39 million barrels to 205 million in the week ended June 12, the largest increase since Jan. 16, Bloomberg reported.

"If you're not eating that much hamburger, you're not using as much Hamburger Helper," Peyton Feltus, president of Randolph Risk Management in Dallas, told Bloomberg. "Until demand shows a sustainable increase, we can't hold these prices up" for ethanol, he said.

Ethanol advocates received another setback earlier this month when a U.S. House panel allowed the federal Environmental Protection Agency to take a wider look at the commodity's environmental impact.

The House Appropriations Committee defeated, 29-30, an amendment to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from using so-called indirect land-use change when measuring greenhouse gases from biofuels, Reuters news service reported.

The United States is the world's major supplier of corn. Critics of ethanol claim that the environment is damaged as other nations have to put more land into farming to produce food as more U.S. corn goes to ethanol. The legislation would allow the EPA to study the question and determine if this increase in farm acreage worldwide offsets or at least mitigates ethanol's environmental benefit.

"There is a huge negative effect here," said Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Missouri, who said an unfair EPA rule "could stop U.S. ethanol production in its tracks."

Scale of Consumption

Corn can produce about 200 gallons of ethanol per acre. If all the corn acreage in the United States were converted to fuel production with corn ethanol, the nation could produce 10 billion gallons of ethanol, the equivalent of about 8 billion gallons of gasoline per year, or about half a million barrels per day. The U.S. consumed about 20 million barrels of crude per day in 2007.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Ethanol News | House for E-trading Agriculture and Ethanol Extended by CME

Ethanol News

CME Group Inc announced on Friday it would expand electronic trading of agricultural contracts by 75 minutes, effective July 1, in a move aimed at further boosting business on that platform.

"It allows customers based in Europe more time to trade during trading hours that are most convenient for them," said CME Group spokesperson Mary Haffenberg.

CME said it would extend electronic trading on July 1 by one hour and 15 minutes to 7:15 a.m. CDT (1215 GMT). Electronic trading currently begins at 6 p.m. (2300 GMT) and ends at 6 a.m. (1100 GMT).

The longer hours will be for contracts including corn, wheat, soybeans and ethanol.

"They're trying to capture more business. There are markets open that time of the day and they are meeting the competition," a trader said.

A number of traders said it was another step by the CME, the world's largest derivatives exchange, to eventually offer electronic trading 24 hours a day.

"The exchange thinks it will expand volume, and it might, but I don't think by a lot. But it's another step in their quest toward 24-hour trading," another trader said.

A CME trading floor source said the reason the CME will stop trading at 7:15 a.m. is because of the monthly release of sensitive U.S. Department of Agriculture crop information at 7:30 a.m. CDT.

Ethanol News

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ethanol News | EPA Report Says Ethanol Harder on Climate than Gasoline - Politicians Throw Fit

Ethanol News

There is so much proof that the ethanol debacle needs to end, that even the report by the EPA that ethanol is worse on the environment than gasoline hasn't stopped politicians trying to get taxpayer dollars into their states from thowing a tantrum.

We’ve entered another ugly battle in the ethanol wars. The EPA released an analysis last month purporting that corn-based ethanol is actually worse for the climate than gasoline on a lifecycle basis, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a ruling that will effectively exclude corn-based ethanol from California’s Renewable Fuels Standard for that reason.

The ethanol industry and its supporters are livid (who cares). House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), a longtime ethanol supporter, threw a fit during a recent hearing and now is threatening to block climate legislation over the new rules. "I don't care,” he exclaimed during a hearing over EPA’s draft rule, “Even if you fix this. I don't trust anybody anymore -- I’ve had it." Ethanol opponents are cheering the agencies' decisions and urging them to look at ethanol under worst-case scenarios.

What is sad about this spat is that while everyone is arguing over whether ethanol is bad, no one is talking about how to make it better. The worst impacts of ethanol occur far from Iowa or Washington in the forests that are burned down to respond to added demand for cropland.

Deforestation results in almost 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it will not be solved through tired finger pointing. This problem is hard but solvable if we focus on the systemic drivers of slash-and-burn agriculture.

A quick primer on the latest wrinkle from the EPA and CARB: Both reached damning conclusions about the impact of ethanol based on complex economic modeling, but the basic logic behind their analysis is simple:

• Using farmland for ethanol diverts land from being used for food production, driving up price and demand
• Higher prices and demand encourage farmers in the developing world to plant more crops
• Developing world farmers clear and burn forests so they can plant more crops
• Clearing forest for cropland releases a tremendous amount of greenhouse gas
• Thus, devoting cropland to ethanol production leads to increases in greenhouse gas emissions

The ethanol industry and its supporters don’t dispute this logic, but claim two problems with the agencies’ approach: (1) The science behind this economic modeling is too new and imprecise, and (2) biofuels are being held to a much tougher standard than other climate solutions. Their opponents hold that the science is sound, and that other low-carbon technologies simply don't have these massive "indirect land-use" problems.

Yet this debate is just so much fiddling while Rome (or maybe Indonesia) burns. The crux of the problem is not in how we measure the impact of ethanol, it is that developing world farmers clear and burn forests so they can plant more crops. Ethanol is just one of the pressures that speed the disastrous destruction of these forests. The rest is just an accounting exercise.

Farmers in the developing world burn forests because it is the most economical, and often only, choice they have. They often can’t afford fertilizers, equipment or high-yield seeds. They have limited access to informational tools like education, soil tests and precision agriculture technology that would allow them to produce more crops in the same place. Without these resources, the only choice is to find new land.

Moreover, there is little or no barrier to slash-and-burn agriculture. Logging roads often give farmers access to virgin forests. Not enough forests are protected, and where they are, many governments lack the resources or the will to enforce conservation laws.

The solutions to these problems are not easy, but models exist. Technology transfer and economic development programs can increase crop yields and reduce the real costs of agricultural technology. A global agreement on REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation) could protect forests and provide payments from a global trust fund as an alternative to chopping trees down.

In order to reduce the lifecycle impact of ethanol, the industry needs to do more than cry foul on these regulations. It needs to be engaged in finding solutions to reduce the pressure to clear land for agriculture. A forward-thinking producer would be lobbying for global forest protection and working with partners in the agricultural industry to support technology transfer to the rural poor.

Meanwhile, ethanol's detractors need to admit that producers can't bear this burden alone, and that failing to compromise with such a politically powerful industry will lead only to delay and more poorly designed policies.

Here's a modest proposal: Congress lets the ethanol industry off the hook for its indirect upstream effects, and the industry agrees that some of its massive subsidies be diverted to programs that protect forests and give farmers options beyond burning them down. Putting more resources toward these programs will not only protect forests from the indirect effects of ethanol, but also the threats of logging, development or other future pressures on agricultural growth.

We will see many more of these fights in the coming years as industries, activists and policymakers argue over who has to bear the burden for indirect, unanticipated environmental and social damages. We need a systemic approach that tackles the problems on the ground, instead of shifting the blame around.

Noam Ross is a senior analyst at GreenOrder, an LRN Company. GreenOrder is a strategy and management consulting firm that has helped leading companies turn sustainability into business value since 2000.

Of course there aren't any climate problems in the first place, and to listen to Ross attempt to apply logic, confusion and reason to the made-up crisis, just shows how far many will go when decisions and conclusions take money out of their greedy pockets.

Ethanol News

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ethanol Producer VeraSun Energy Finds Sucker

There's always a sucker to find to sell a worthless, and less than worthless piece of business property to, and VeraSun Energy Corp. surprisingly has done just that in clueless Valero Energy Corp., which will pay VeraSun Energy $280 million for the privilege of taking fiver VeraSun plants off their hands.

Boy am I glad I don't own shares in Valero Energy, as this will pull them down in a big way, as the hapless ethanol prodcution industry collapses around it. I would have thought VeraSun would have paid that much just to get rid of them.

Now that the company has received and agreed to a deal, per terms of their bankruptcy, tehy now must hold an auction to give other companies a chance to make rival bids. Anyone else dumb enough to do this out there?

If perchance any other qualifying bids are offered, an auction will be held on March 16 to battle over the VeraSun corpse. Bidders have until March 13 to submit qualifying bids.

VeraSun is attempting to sell all 16 of their existing of its ethanol plants.

Along with the acquisition price of $280 million, the deal would be plus value of inventory and certain pre-paid expenses, for production facilities in Aurora, South Dakota; Charles City, Fort Dodge, and Hartley, Iowa; and Welcome, Minnesota; and a site under development in Reynolds, Indiana.

Under terms of their Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the court also gave Verasun permission to sell seven of the eight ethanol plants they acquired from U.S. BioEnergy last year (smart company to get out at the right time), although none of those are included in the Valero energy deal.

VeraSun CEO Don Endres said that taking into consideration the terrible conditions of the ethanol industry and supposedly difficulty in getting credit (who would give it to them in the best of conditions), this seems to be the best avenue to take.

The truth is the ethanol industry is a disaster and shouldn't be part of the alternative fuel scene in any form. VeraSun is the best example of that, as they would be completely destroyed if someone didn't come buy and pick up the shattered pieces.

I don't know what Valero Energy executives are thinking, but this makes no sense. If I was a shareholder I would be screaming bloody murder and lining up lawyers. This is an outrage that will push Valero Energy's value down for years to come. There just isn't any upside for this at all.

VeraSun should have simply been allowed to fold up and fail. But this is being pushed behind the scenes by government officials who know the truth would come out more into the light about the misguided fuel mandate involving ethanol as a biofuel. Opposition is growing as they attempt to salvage one of the more unpopular government hand outs ever.

All the operations and production facilities are being attempted to be sold by VeraSun so they don't make the government fiasco look so bad. I'm really surprised anyone with an ounce of brains would have taken on this huge debt and was willing to throw money down a bottomless rabbit hole.

Managing the sales process and acting as a financial adviser for VeraSun is Rothschild Inc, while advising Valera is Credit Suisse.

Someone is finally doing something right for VeraSun, too bad it wasn't before they entered into the ethanol industry at all, and were decimated and humiliated as they couldn't even make money with a taxpayer subsidized industry. I can see Valero Energy getting into shareholder trouble in the future as the weight of adding this to their bottom line pummels shareholder value in the company.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ethanol | Worse than Gasoline

... says a study from the University of Minnesota on corn-based ethanol

Ethanol continues to get hammered as another study, this time from the University of Minnesota, says the costs are much higher than originally anticipated, and is higher than gasoline when taking into account all factors.

Health, environmental factors make conventional ethanol costly, but the market for alternative fuels is tanking

As noted in The New York Times yesterday, researchers from the University of Minnesota compared the cost of corn-based ethanol to the cost of gasoline and found that ethanol costs more when environmental and health factors are included.

The process of making ethanol is energy-intensive, and the most expensive ethanol is made with corn in facilities that burn cheap but polluting coal.

According to the study, “Climate change and health costs of air emissions from biofuels and gasoline,” the numbers are grim.

“For each billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of fuel produced and combusted in the U.S., the combined climate-change and health costs are $469 million for gasoline, $472–952 million for corn ethanol … but only $123–208 million for cellulosic ethanol [ethanol derived from prairie biomass, corn stalks, switchgrass or other sources],” the study says.

The huge range of cost for corn ethanol is due to the different methods used to produce the fuel. The $952 million number is for ethanol made using coal, a method that’s being used in an increasing number of ethanol facilities.

As Grist noted back in 2006, “More and more ethanol manufacturers are looking to power their plants with cheap coal instead of its cleaner and increasingly expensive competitor, natural gas, thereby potentially limiting ethanol’s environmental benefits.”

The University of Minnesota study includes charts and maps, including one that shows a big, dark red blotch — next to New Mexico — that indicates where corn ethanol is made with coal.

Without those handy state border lines it’s a little hard to tell what’s what in those pictures above. But here’s another map that puts it in better perspective:

The map is a little old; there are now three plants in operation in Texas and seven more planned.

That green dot in New Mexico is the Abengoa Bioenergy plant in Portales. Built in 1985, it was producing 30 million gallons of ethanol before a temporary shutdown in October due to fluctuations in both the grain and oil markets.

Most of the city of Portales gets its power from Xcel Energy, which sells power generated New Mexico and Texas, including two coal fired power plants in West Texas. About half of Xcel’s power — 52 percent — comes from coal; 41 percent comes from natural gas and 7 percent comes from wind and other renewables.

“The coal plants run about 24-7 because its the least expensive and the most efficient,” says Wes Reeves of Xcel.

More than 70 percent of New Mexico’s power is generated at two coal-fired plants near Farmington (pdf). Carbon dioxide emissions from coal make up more than half of the emissions from power plants in New Mexico.

Because producing ethanol is so energy intensive, many ethanol plants don’t buy electricity; they either buy natural gas or they have their own power plants, which burn coal or other fuel, such as cow poop.

When the Abengoa plant is running, it uses the cleaner, but more expensive, natural gas. Abengoa, which is headquartered in Spain, does not have any coal-fired ethanol plants, says Vice President Christopher Stanley.

The Portales ethanol plant had to close temporarily because the high price of grain sorghum and milo — the raw ingredients it uses to make ethanol — is relatively high, while the price of gasoline, which largely determines the price of ethanol, is low.

“It’s all market-driven,” Stanley says. “It’s our intention to resume production as soon as the market improves.”

And the market is not good. As the Times noted earlier this week, the crummy economy and the credit crisis have put a serious dent in the market for alternative energy. Companies that make wind turbines and solar panels have all laid off workers; biomass and geothermal groups have also seen a slowdown. Meanwhile, the falling price of oil has put a kink in alternative fuels’ chain.

One ethanol plant in Hereford, Texas, which broke ground in 2005, planned to use manure from nearby dairy farms rather than natural gas or coal for power. But less than two weeks ago, the company, Hereford Biofuels, filed for bankruptcy and announced it was putting the still-unfinished plant up for sale.

Algae-derived biodiesel is attractive in part because conventional biodiesel is made from soybeans, and like corn-based ethanol, is subject to the “food or fuel” debate. And demand for biodiesel is increasing; in 2007, the New Mexcio Legislature passed the Biodiesel Standards Act, which will require 5 percent biodiesel in state vehicles by 2010 and for all vehicles by 2012. The state is also offering tax credits to facilities that install blending equipment.

The Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management, working in partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory and New Mexico State University, has developed an algae biodiesel test project near Carlsbad.

“In Carlsbad we’re hoping to take microalgae to market. The project has the potential to make biodiesel that wouldn’t use a field crop but would take advantage of some wide open spaces and brine water,” says Fernando Martinez, director of the Energy Conservation and Management Division of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

But is algae biodiesel economically viable? Last year, Doug Lynn, the center’s executive director, said he was cautiously optimistic that biodiesel could be produced from algae for $80 per barrel. That’s a lot better than last year’s $150 per barrel prices for oil, but not compared to the $40 we’re paying right now.

In the aftermath of yet another study critical of corn-based ethanol, ethanol backers are expressing frustration with what they consider faulty research.

Dr. Martha Schlicher is the former head of the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center and now vice president of Illinois River Energy. She says the recent University of Minnesota study, like others in the past, fails to recognize dramatic technology improvements occurring in corn ethanol production.

“Science grows and develops and gets perfected with time,” Schlicher says. “We have a willingness to accept that in the medical field—I think brain surgery and heart surgery have probably improved dramatically. Antibiotics have improved dramatically.”

In the Minnesota study, for example, Sclicher says researchers failed to mention that natural gas and electricity could eventually be eliminated from the ethanol production process, which would greatly alter its emission profile.

While negative to corn ethanol, the Minnesota study was very positive to cellulosic ethanol. However, Schlicher thinks it “over-promises” on the potential of cellulosics.

“If we think for a minute that cellulosic-based ethanol, or an advanced biofuel, is going to be perfect when it gets to market, we’ve got another think coming,” Schlicher says, “and then we’re right back to the same old starting point and we’ll never have an alternative to gasoline.”

Schlicher says cellulosic ethanol is an important part of our renewable future. But while it is being developed, she says America should optimize the base of production that it has today in corn ethanol.

Even with these continuous misguided and dishonest calls for ethanol as a biofuel, and even looking to the more expensive cellulosic ethanol as a future alternative to corn-based ethanol, it looks like its backers are looking at it as a form of environmental religion, as they continue to ignore the disaster that ethanol in whatever form it takes is.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ethonal: Ethanol Terrible Investment

Remember just a couple years ago when everyone was asking if ethanol was a risky investment? Well, we've got that answer in spades, as company after company falters and most companies with their primary focus on ethanol teetering on the brink of bankruptcy or already in it.

Even giant Archer Daniels Midland got clobbered with huge losses, even though they performed well in other areas to enjoy one of the few profitable quarters among that sector. That was in spite of their investment in ethanol and the ethanol industry, not because of it.

Anyone who has invested in ethanol stock is sorry they did it, along with ethanol companies created to benefit off the back of taxpayers funding. The flex fuel is a disaster, and whether someone worships at the altar of renewable fuels or not, they have to admit the future is not only grim, but impossible to successfully navigate if ethanol - whether it's corn based or cellulosic - is the source looked for in the renewable fuels sector.

Not only is ethanol have huge inputs that affect the environment, but as an alternative fuel is a disaster, with a number of studies showing it's going to cost far more per gallon than gasoline, than originally expected.

There really is no market for ethanol, and as far as small engine power equipment goes, it continues to damage them, even though those trying to force the ethanol industry on the rest of us aren't willing to admit it, even though manufacturers and small engine repair shops continue to say they're filled with snowmobiles, generators, chainsaws, and other small engine equipment using ethanol as part of their fuel.

When you also consider the mulit-millions used to build ethanol plants and artificially create ethanol producers, you see that taxpayer money could have been used for something much better than this misguided fiasco.

Add the current economic problems to the mix and it's even a great disaster. Ethanol plant construction is largely on hold; you can't send it through pipelines to get it cheaply to where it is needed; and in the name of the dubious idea of generating jobs build upon an illusion is worse than not doing it in the first place.

Producing ethanol as far as all costs concerned was vastly underrated, and the effect of using so much acreage to grow corn on the artificial prices that couldn't hold up, caused food prices to surge and riots around the world as people struggled to survive because of corn being used to feed the environmental nuts dream of nirvana rather than people.

So now most ethanol companies are a disaster; ethanol stocks have plummeted; ethanol as an investment is ridiculous; and it damages small engines and even some cars using e85 in their vehicles. And we're obsessed with ethenol why? Because people are trying to get the public eye off the billions of barrels of oil on American land and off its coastlines. They're pretending we've entered into a crisis period when in fact billions of barrels of oil are available for consumption.

No matter how the ethanol marketing campaign is arranged, you can't hide the horrid idea it has become, nor the huge, negative impact its having all around. Many original ethanol proponents have change their minds about its viability as a biofuel because of its challenges that aren't able to be solved.

Every aspect of it has failed, and yet because of the powerful farm lobby, which has nothing to do with small farmers but rather billion dollar companies getting tax breaks to pursue the stupid idea, we continue to waste huge amounts of money and time for something doomed to fail.

The ethanol industry is dead on arrival. Let's just admit it, start to open up our land and coastlines to the hundreds of billion of barrels of oil available, and then slowly look for real, viable alternatives.

The fear generated from marketing ethanol that we are somehow some type of dire need to find alternative fuels is an outright lie. The results of the debacle show that fear-induced initiatives never work, as it isn't thought through, but enacted for political expediency.

Ethanol is a poor and misguided investment of time and money. We need to move on, knowing we aren't in a hurry, and there's plenty of oil for decades to come we can access and produce instead of investing in the losing ethanol industry.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ethanol: Archer Daniels Midland Company

Even though Archer Danels Midland Company (ADM) reported extraordinary profits for the economic climate they're operating in, those very profits caused consternation among many industry watchers, and even resulted in JP Morgan downgrading them from their suspicions.

Ethanol has been a huge downward pull on the company, as low gas prices and demand make it a disastrous sector to be operating in; and there's no quick way to get out of it. That's what happens when huge companies like Archer Daniels Midland Company suck from the government teat and then get sour milk. This is going to be the story of ethanol and companies trying to exploit taxpayer financed loopholes that give them tax credits that prop up and create an otherwise non-existent market.

Clueless Archer Daniels Midland Co CEO Patricia Woertz said during a conference call that the company didn't foresee "the depth of this current economic crisis or the decline in gasoline demand.” Strange, even a general bystander saw that the economic pressure would cause consumers to stop driving and traveling as much. That comment doesn't make much sense.

As far as the drag that ethanol had on Archer Daniel Midland Company profits, losses from ethanol, and to a smaller degree from other bioproducts came to a huge $111 million just for the three months ending in December.

Also during the call, the third-largest U.S. ethanol producer, Archer Daniels Midland Co., siad that the ethanol business is "challenging." Duh! Ethanol isn't just challenging, it's ignorant and needs to be dropped as a taxpayer subsidized socialist project it is.

What this shows is that any something happens in the economy to slow it down, ethanol will hit companies hard, along with its workers and investors, and cause everyone pain. All that because the government has blocked oil companies from drilling the hundreds of billions of barrels of proven oil reserves under U.S. land or coastlines.

We need to forget the misguided and criminal renewable fuels standard and forget this waste of time and billions of dollars on pursuing a pipe dream just so the government and its sycophants can say they're doing something about the alleged energy crisis that only exists because of government regulations creating it.

So far ethanol production capacity has plunged by 21 percent, that much being shut down in the U.S. as the numbers don't make sense. Ethanol capacity has fallen from 12.9 billion to 10.2 billion.

The response of Archer Daniels Midland Company to the disaster? They're going to make more ethanol facilities, as they're close to finishing two more ethanol plants in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Columbus, Nebraska. What a waste of investors' money.

According to Archer Daniels Midland Company Chief Executive Patricia Woertz, profits for the company came for the most part from their agricultural services division, surging by $143 million for the quarter.

Even so, most of those profits came from successful hedging that locked in crop prices, giving them a big edge over their competitors who didn't fare nearly as well. The problem of course is there was some luck involved with those successful commodity futures hedges, and it isn't something that is reproducible going forward.

One successful element that can be reproduced for the ethanol company is the huge fee increases it charged for shipping grains overseas. That is the only bright spot for the immediate future that gives credence to the otherwise dubious profit gains of 24 percent, which was very suspect considering the rest of Archer Daniels Midland Company competitors did so poorly.

Analysts were not so kind with Archer Daniels Midland Company Chief Executive Patricia Woertz when she refused to identify where the profits specifically came from, with some even saying investors should be wary when they aren't allowed to look under the hood to see what makes it work.

That's another way of saying that there was a lot of luck involved, as when asked a number of times, Woertz refused to let it be known what made the company so profitable in such terrible conditions.

Again, if it was something reproducible, it would have been quickly identified by Woertz, as it would have been a competitive advantage which would have caused Archer Daniels Midland Company stock to surge ahead of its competitors.

So while ethanol pulled down ADM stocks, what evidently looks like a lucky timing of some hedging gave the company some good numbers. That unrepeatable situation has the ADM Corporation looking good, even though ADM stock quotes are not looking as good as you would expect in these circumstances.

ADM will probably be under more pressure from the tremendous numbers just because they revealed an unusual circumstance that obviously wasn't related to operational skill and productivity. That means that the guidance given that profits will be under pressure going foward for Archer Daniels Midland will be accurate, and the downward pressure of embracing the failing ethanol industry, as well as fairly long term economic slowdown will start to affect the grain company like any other.

This profit performance was an anamoly, and Archer Daniels Midland Company and Patricia Woertz know it. This is why any ADM news going forward won't be in line with what just happened with the company. It makes you think it would have been better to have underperformed so the obvious anamoly wouldn't have been so obvious and glaring.

Now the ADM stock will be under further pressure, assuming they won't be able to repeat the lucky hedging, or increase shipping fees at the rate they have been. Put that together with ethanol pummeling the company profits, and there isn't really any good news for ADM in the near or mid future.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ethanol: How to Make Ethanol

While ethanol is a disaster, it's interesting to see the many people that look at it as a viable alternative energy and fuel, and search into how they can make ethanol on their own.

Regular ethanol has been extremely destructive to numerous small engine power equipment, and during the winter time we notice many of the snowmobiles, chainsaws and generators at the small engine repair shops as the alleged biofuel continues to destroy the parts and engines of the products, even though some proponents continue to pretend it's completely safe to use, while the equipment of ethanol users is destroyed, and in some cases becomes dangerous to use because of the potential consequences of getting stranded; as in the case of snowmobiles or motor boats.

Some even continue to claim the very expensive fuel and poor mileage (as far as it relates to vehicles) is inexpensive. But some studies have shown the price of gasoline would have to reach about $2.33 a gallon to be the equivalent of the high cost of ethanol.

So it can be understood why people that like to experiment and try things out would want to make their own ethanol for the purpose of accomplishing the task, it's hard to know why other than that someone would want to put it in any type of equipment they use.

Making ethanol is of course nothing new, as people have known how to make ethanol for a long time, using fermentation and the distillation of sugar and starch crops. Some of the obvious crops still used today to make ethanol are corn, cornstalks and sugar cane (in Brazil). Other crops used are potatoes, wheat and peelings from fruit and vegetables. Grass and wood chips or sawdust can be used as well, among many others.

It takes a lot of this stuff to even make one gallon of ethanol, as it takes about 10gallons of crops or other material to make a gallon of the fuel additive. So picture wanting about 10 gallons of the stuff. You'd have to have access to about 100 gallons of raw materials in order to make that much. It would take a ton of work just to gather that much together, even if someone was willing to give it to you to work with.

So what's the process on How to Make Ethanol?

To turn raw materials into ethanol, it requires five steps:


Whatever material you decide to use, it has to be converted by the sugars being broken down in the process. That's either done manually or by adding an enzyme.

In the fermentation part of the process, you're at the creation of alcohol stage, and so add yeast in a similar way you would if you were making wine.

The next stage in How to Make Ethanol is to use a still for the purpose of separation of the alcohol from the rest of the liquid. This is called Distillation.

For the next two steps you filtrate the liquid in order to remove the impurities in the liquid as well as the excess water remaining.

Materials needed to make ethanol:

A lidded plastic bucket or barrel

Because the liquid will start to ferment once the fruit or raw material is broken down, you should only fill it to about one-third full, or you'll end up with a messy overflow of the ethanol.

When using yeast, don't think in terms of the type you'd use for making bread. Rather, to make ethanol, us the type you would acquire from a store with supplies to make wine. That type of yeast is tolerant to ethanol.

Once you add the yeast to the mixture, use the hydrometer to measure the sugar content. Once you have that figure, cover up the barrel.

Simply let it sit for several days while checking the sugar content once a day. What you're looking for is the sugar content in the mixture to gradually decrease until there's zero sugar left in the ethanol. That will usually take about 10 days.

When that part of the process is completed, the mixture should be immediately distilled, or you risk damaging whatever equipment you might put the fuel into.

This could be an enjoyable experiment to have fun with, but doing this allows you to see the number of things involved with making ethanol, the high amount of inputs, and how a lot can go wrong with it while it's being made, which could damage your equipment.

In the end, it can be fun learning how to make ethanol, but I sure wouldn't really want to use it other than in something old to learn the damage it can cause.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ethanol | Greater Ohio Ethanol

Greater Ohio Ethanol - Another Reason to Abandon the Ethanol Debacle

The failure of the ethanol initiative is again unveiled as the Greater Ohio Ethanol company can't find a buyer that could justify the price and debt the company is attempting to command and owes.

Costs for the ethanol plant were an astronomical $150 million, without anything but a pathetic government mandate to force ethanol as a biofuel on the public. Even with taxpayer subsidies the biofuel can't even come close to producing a profit.

Unless Greater Ohio Ethanol is basically given away, it's not even worth the trouble. Even then it's doubtful it would be worth the headache of an inevitable shutdown. If someone takes this responsibility on, they deserve what they get, as it's been a losing proposition from the beginning.

While the ethanol plants' creditors are obviously trying to patch up as much damage to their investment as they can, they have absolutely no foundation to stand on, the reason deal after deal has been turned down.

So far two companies have made bids for Greater Ohio Ethanol, but they've both been rejected. Both companies have stakes in Greater Ohio Ethanol, as Paladin Capital Group of Washington, D.C. provided the equity to build the Lima plant, and NextGen Ethanol owns two of the ethanol plants currently operating.

Bills continue to mount in spite of the failed bids, and it'll keep getting worse the longer the bankruptcy proceedings last, as they're costly as well. There are still operational costs at the ethanol plant, along with construction bills that have yet to be paid. What a mess the misguided ethanol industry has become, and Greater Ohio Ethanol is a cover story to emphasize the debacle.

With creditors anxiously looking on, they've filed a motion to convert the Chapter 11 bankruptcy to a Chapter 7, as those unsecured debtors are in a secondary position, and probably will receive nothing under the Chapter 11. At this time a sale of the company would only benefit the senior, secured lenders. Of course the unsecured debtors knew this when they signed on, so it's nothing but their own fault for taking the risk.

Lima, Ohio is finding out the hard way, along with much of the midwest, that ethanol as a business is basically fools gold, and it's going to remain that way. The Greater Ohio Ethanol company, along with the numerous other ethanol companies, is a narrative showing ethanol as a biofuel needs to be abandoned as a viable alternative. The numbers just don't add up, and it's a waste of billions in taxpayer dollars.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ethanol: "Show Me Ethanol" Conflict of Interest

"Show Me Ethanol" in Missouri is in a battle over conflict of interest, as politicians in the state own shares in the company, potentially giving the ethanol plant it's operating for the purpose of making money for state legislaters.

State Treasurer Sarah Steelman has a policy in place to keep the taxpayer subsidized company from benefiting those in governmental power.

Some are trying to pressure Steelman to ease up on the policy, but she's right - there shouldn't be any politician anywhere that benefits from a government subsidy program, as it's really another form of insider trading, no matter how you look at it.

Show Me Ethanol is scheduled to open this spring, and had received an initial nod from Steelman that they had conditional approval to receive loans from banks at rates below the market rate.

That condition was that the ethanol plant had to comply with the conflict of interest policy, where no single investor in the company could have ties to statewide elected officials or anyone related to them.

In the case of Show Me Ethanol, that's not the case, as a number of Missouri politians or their family members have invested in the ethanol company, including John Quinn, his wife, Mary, Andy Blunt, and Lesley Graves.

Supposedly other ethanol companies have been reluctant to work under Sarah Steelman's strict policy, but that seems to be a condemnation rather than a pressure on Steelman. They don't understand that by rejecting the policy, they're admitting they are indeed looking for favors from politicians, and that those politicians would benefit from it.

This underscores the problem of the ethanol industry, which can't survive without being artificially propped up by taxpayer money and tax credits, or low interest loans.

Include with this the tremendous amount of damage it does to some cars and power equipment like snowmobiles, chainsaws and many others, we need to simply get this idea off the table, along with the thought that this is a viable alternative energy source.

Ethanol really isn't a business, it's a socialist program designed to placate those who are earth worshippers and hate the thought of digging for the billions of barrels of oil on American soil, which would allow fuel for decades ahead.

Ethanol supporters are in denial of this, and so push forward this disastrous program that costs people so much, let alone the damage it does to the environment.

As an investment - as the failed ethanol companies around the country show - ethanol sucks, the alternative gas mix is terrible, and it's far less effective than regular gasoline.

What it's becoming is a political, socialist business, not a free market business. That's why the biofuel is failing, along with the many ethanol companies.

While the government should be involved in any type of business, if they are going to be, at least it should be something that isn't destructive like ethanol is, and something that has a future.

Ethanol as a business and alternative fuel isn't one of them. The taxpayer money is being wasted as the powerful farm and corn growers lobbies think of only themselves at the expense of the rest of us.

End the low paying loans, taxpayer subsidies and tax credits to farmers. If the business is a legitimate one, it would be able to stand on its own. Ethanol businesses can't.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ethanol in Chainsaws: Disaster Waiting to Happen

Ethanol destroying chainsaws, even after being cleaned up

It seems that nothing runs good with ethanol in it, including chainsaws.

Many so-called experts have supposedly cleared automobiles for use with ethynol, but a large number of consumers still say they are having troubles with them. Snowmobile owners have been up in arms in the northern states over the breaking down of their snowmobiles from the use of ethanol in their engines.

When you research what some of the real experts - the mechanics - are saying, they start telling you the techniques you'd need to employ to take avoid the ethanol problems, or hopefully prevent them.

That's the problem, you just about have to be an expert, or at least very familiar with engines (which most people aren't), to even have a chance at preventing damage to or even salvaging your power equipment.

From hoses to valves, and other parts of engines, you have to take certain precautions to keep them from damaging your chainsaws. The amount of time, and in some cases with additives - extra price, it quickly becomes a much heavier burden to even use your small engine tools.

An increasing number of people are complaining about the abnormal number of problems with their chainsaws, ethanol in snowmobiles, generators, among a number of other small engine machinery used in the summer like lawnmowers, weedeaters and tillers.

Small engine mechanics confirm this saying their shops are as full as they've ever been with machinery that has broken down.

Some mechanics are also getting a little concerned about taking in the ethanol-damaged equipment, as many times they clean it, as with chainsaws, and have to bring them right back from using them in the field because ethanol leaves behind a hidden residue that can't be spotted with the naked eye.

A recent story about someone bringing a chainsaw in to be fixed, had the mechanic completely cleaning up the carburetor and the daiphrams, putting in fuel and air filters, and it started up in the shop ok. The owner took it out to use it, and after running for five minutes, had to bring it back to be looked at.

Ethanol can clog up just about everything, as in the real life example above, you can clean everything you can think up, and it still continues to fall apart. When the owner brought back the chainsaw after it broke down again, the next time around the lines would have to be checked to see if they were corroded.

Who wants to go through that with every small engine piece of machinery we have? It's ridiculous.

Another factor for the small engine industry is the concerns over safety and liability issues, as not only is there the equipment breaking down problem, but people could be hurt directly or indirectly from the failure of the products they manufacture.

In conclusion, valves can clog up, little metal parts rust, carburetors destroyes, as well as other small, but needed components.

Draining the ethanol based gas from the tanks isn't enough either, as I mentioned earlier, because of the residue - which is the component in ethanol that does the damage - will remain in the engine and chainsaw parts unseen.

While it doesn't work real well, some people have been helped slightly by adding Stabil to their non-2-cycle engine equipment. They unwittingly think that taking the ethanol mixed gas out that it will prevent the damage, but they are wrong.

Should you use ethanol in your chainsaws? Not at all if you can help it. There's nothing we can do to keep the engines and parts from gumming up and eventually failing.

Even the mechanics admit after cleaning it up there's not much they can do to prevent our chainsaws from being damaged again and again. We need to drop the ethanol hoax now. Think of the problems about to be released if the pressure to increase the mixture goes through!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ethanol Problems Continue to Pressure Abandoning the Industry

Ethanol is becoming an increasingly controversial fuel source and problem, as the taxpayer subsidy is the only reason it can even be seriously considered as an alternative to regular gasoline.

The effect of ethanol on small engines has been a disaster, and yet proponents continue to ignore that and push for even higher levels of the mix in order to try to save the propped-up industry.

So far the basic standard has been E10, but even at that level it's harmful to owners of equipment with small engines,

With the cold weather this year, snowmobile owners have had a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, but the harm done by ethynol to small engines have brought them to the repair shop more often than not. Repair shop workers have said they're filled with machines waiting to be fixed because of the damage done from ethanol-ruined engines.

Other products used that are always are ruined in the repair shops at this time are snowblowers and chainsaws. Fears are the bad gas will cause even more harm in the biofuel disaster, and end up not only hurting equipment, but people as well. The danger is very real.

In the summer months all the usual power equipment we use like ATVs, lawnmowers and boats, among others, have the same survival challenge, as the engines face the same problems of their winter counterparts.

Along with starting and running problems, ethanol can also eat away at parts of the engine, effectively destroying them.

The two major problems beyond that, are the environment and food prices, which are impacted negatively from ethanol, especially corn-based ethanol. But even cellulosic ethanol won't be any better, and it'll be much more expensive, raising food prices even higher.

A recent study said oil would have to go to a price level of $233 a barrel in order for ethanol to break even.

The ethanol hoax and scam needs to be ended and put to rest. There are already numerous uprising against the misguided plan, and petitions are being signed and recommendations being made to stop the folly.

One politician even recently said that the reason we have to keep going with ethanol is because we've spent so much money on it already. That's plain nuts! You don't keep spending money in order to justify bad policies. It makes no sense at all.

Other than catering to the rich farm lobby, there's nothing good in pursuing the ethanol fiasco. The idea that jobs are being created is a fantasy. Sure you can get the loans and put construction workers together to build a plant. But like they're finding out, it's been a cruel joke on those that were given false hopes; especially the rural areas.

Outdoor equipment companies rightly assert that ethanol backers don't give an honest account fo the dangers and problems consumers will and do experience from the harmful effects of the biofuel.

Even if this weren't difficult times, ethanol would be a complete disaster, but when include the extensive damage to the equipment of people, potential bodily harm, cost of repairs, environmental inputs and higher costs of food, it's cruel to destroy people's lives continuing on with the harmful ethanol initiative.

What's the best way to protect your equipment? Don't put ethanol in them in the first place. All you'll get are more problems and headaches, along with potentially dangerous situations.

Winning submission in the 2008 Moody's Mega Math Challenge: Ethanol: Not All It Seems To Be

A group of students from High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey, submitted a paper entitled "Ethanol: Not All It Seems To Be," and won the 2008 Moody's Mega Math Challenge, along with their work being published in the January 2009 issue of The Mathematical Association of America's College Mathematics Journal.

Some of the conclusions reached the high environmental and economic costs of ethanol replacing gasoline, nuclear power would be far better for alternative energy, and prices wouldn't be cost effective until oil was selling at $233 a barrel.

Ethanol: Not All It Seems To Be can be read here. Tom Jackson, Afanasiy Yermakov, Jason Zukus, and Kelly Roache were the four students that wrote the paper.

Friday, January 16, 2009

VeraSun Energy Dumping More of its Plants - 7 More Put Up for Auction

As part of the bankruptcy court financing agreement, VeraSun Energy Corp. is going to auction off seven of its biorefineries.

Stuggling to survive, the company needs to raise about $12.3 million just to run its remaining plants and pay its workforce through April 30, according to its filing in a Delaware bankruptcy court.

Per the agreement, the auction will start on March 16 and close on March 31. I'm not sure anybody would want them even for free. It'll be interesting to see if there are any takers.

At this time only four of VeraSun's ethanol plants remain operating, with the rest shut down, desperately hoping the economy will turn around so they can start them up again. I think they're out of luck on that one.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ethanol is Bad Investment: Just Ask Brazil

We always seem to hear about the potential and value of ethanol at a viable source of fuel for our vehicles. But let's look at Brazil, which is looked to as an example of ethanol success.

Some excerpts from a recent article on the cost of ethanol versus gasoline:

"Here’s an alternative fuels word problem that might baffle even the best U.S. math students:

"Jose drives his black flex-fuel Toyota Corolla into a Esso station on Rua Henrique Schaumann, a busy thoroughfare in Sao Paulo. He sees that gas costs 2.60 Brazilian reais per liter and ethanol costs 1.55 reais per liter. If Jose wants to get the most mileage for his money, which fuel should he choose?

"But for Brazilians, especially the millions who drive flex-fuel cars that run on any mixture of gasoline and ethanol, that question is a breeze.

“'Here’s the rule of thumb,' said Jose himself, full name Jose De Luca, a 30-year-old industrial engineer. 'When the price is 70 percent or less the price of gas, it’s worth using ethanol.'

"He’s got the right idea, says Adriano Pires, an economist and director of the energy consulting firm Centro Brasileiro de Infra Estrutura. According to Pires, the 70 percent figure is generally accepted as correct, although it can vary slightly depending on a car's make and model."

All the talk of options and choices is fine, but as you can see from a country that is the leader in doing it, gasoline is still by far the most productive and effective fuel available.

With estimates of oil shale in the U.S. being 5 times the amount of known reserves in Saudi Arabia, we aren't anywhere near the myth of "peak oil" thrown around by those who have a stake in providing of alternatives or the price of oil going up.

"Show Me Ethanol" Close to Filing Bankruptcy

Show Me Ethanol of Missouri is one step away from filing bankruptcy, as it has asked it shareholders for more funding via a capital call of $4,800 a share and a voluntary capital contribution.

If they can't raise the additional funds, the company will be forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Let it die!

"Advanced BioEnergy" Ethanol Company Seeking Merger or Sale

The failed ethanol industry has another company about to go under, as Advanced BioEnergy (ABE), which owns three ethanol plants, is in the process of looking for merger partners or selling the company outright.

It's already defaulted on a $10 million loan in October 2008, and is in even bigger trouble now, as its operating at a $13.1 million net loss while debt has risen to about $211 million, according to the Cleveland Research Company.

Besides selling the company outright or a merger, other considerations are to issue more debt, sell some of its operating assets or equity securities.

This is just the typical example of almost every ethanol company in the U.S. Just let this propped up illusory industry die. Not only is ethanol destructive to snowmobiles and most other small engines, but even with the waste of taxpayers' dollars it still can't even come close to turning a profit.

Preview of the Disaster Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack Will Be

Wednesday Ag Secretary nominee Tom Vilsack appeared before the Senate Ag Committee for his confirmation hearing.

Unsurprisingly he reiterated his strong support for the renewable fuel industry and the farm bill.

Here's what he said:

“It is important to continue to maintain the infrastructure because, if you’re going to transition at some point in time to cellulosic ethanol, you have to have the capacity to produce it, and you don’t want that hundreds of millions of dollars, billions of dollars, that’s already been invested, not to be fully utilized.”

Think of it. He wants to maintain the failed experiment because it would be a waste of money if he was to get rid of it. It blows the mind. We need to keep wasting taxpayers money because of the faulty idea, and then continue to keep expanding it, while continuing to lose money.

Admitting the billions of dollars already spent are wasted, Vilsack's reasoning is to spend more so we didn't waste the already wasted money. This guys going to be fun to watch and comment on going forward.

Another ignorant senator from Indiana, Richard Lugar, pressured Vilsack to keep the "hope of biofuels alive." He also showed his lack of grasp of the issues surrounding ethanol by saying there's a need to bring it above the 10-percent mix, which is already breaking almost everything it's put in as far as small power equipment goes.

Keep the hope alive? That's about as dumb a statement that can be made. The best thing to do is immediately drop the disastrous and expensive program, and look for viable alternatives going forward.

What does Lugar think this is - a religion? Actually to many it is, as they blindly continue to drink the mixed ethanol koolaide, when money could be spent much better things.

Rather than being focused on bogus issues like disappearing polar bears and beluga whales, the government needs to push into existing, known reserves of the billions of barrels of oil on American soil and off its coastlines.

From there we can slow things down, take a deep breath, and find legitimate alternatives. We aren't in no hurry. There's plenty of oil out there for decades, only only idiotic, earth worshippers are keeping us from tapping into.

Sooner or later we'll have to, as the hype and false hope of a quick fix is teaching biofuels proponents that it'll take a lot more time than they thought to transition to alternative fuels. Oil is the current answer to the non-existent problem at this time.

Whether people like it or not, we'll have to drill and find ways to extract it during this period of time.

Vilsack will probably be confirmed on Tuesday as President-elect Obama is sworn in. Too bad!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another Waste of Taxpayers Money as Northeast Biofuels Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Only a mere five months after becoming operational, Northeast Biofuels LP has already sought out bankuptcy protection under Chapter 11.

Businesses filing under Chapter 11 restructure their finances with the goal of starting operations up again.

The plant cost about $200 million to build, as another huge waste of taxpayers' money is revealed in the ongoing ethanol debacle.

Go here for bankruptcy petition, which was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Syracuse

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ethanol Destroying Most Types of Power Equipment

At the end of last month the growing grass roots opposition to ethanol received a boost as a state legislature, David Campbell, introduced a bill that would ban ethanol from being blended with gasoline in the state of New Hampshire.

One report said, "Equipment repair shops all over the Northeast report growing problems with engines caused by gasoline containing the current EPA-mandated 10 percent ethanol, or “E-10” gas. The engines, many of which are two-cycle, weren’t engineered to accommodate the differing characteristics of E-10 fuel, leading to an array of problems, including hard starting, erratic running, internal damage and eventual failure."

If this is happening in the northeast, it's happening everywhere this type of equipment is being used. It's either being underreported, neglected, or equipment users aren't aware of the cause behind their equipment failures.

This is similar to bad gas in a car which has damaged the device which measures how much gas is in the tank. You don't know it until a number of people discover they've been victims of the same problem, and figure out it has come from the same cause.

With all this being done at the "E-10" level, think of what will happen at the "E-15" or "E-20" level, which is being pushed unethically by the ethanol industry.

"There’s lots more of that to come if EPA allows E-15, E-20 or higher ethanol blends to come to market," says Kris Kiser of OEPI (Outdoor Power Equipment Institute), a Washington trade group.

So why is this outrage being perpetrated upon people?

Kiser says this:

“We’re now using less gasoline across the country, so the ethanol lobby is trying to force more ethanol onto the market."

If that were to happen, Kiser says most “'legacy equipment'-outdoor equipment engines made before 2008" will break down.

Some state bureaucrats form the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services are discouraging Cambell in his fight saying the state won't receive gas under the current federal ethanol mandates if he pursues this course.

But as Cambell said, "if New Hampshire bans it we’ll be the first state to do it, but if 10, 20 or 30 states eventually come along I say it will stop the idiocy."

I think he's right. That many states banning it will undermine the completely misguided, and in some cases, unethical, foisting of ethanol upon the public.

Many of the supporters behind the legislation are owners of snowmobiles, weed whackers, chainsaws and outboard boat motors, or any other similar equipment. Once word gets out on the terrible damage to users' equipment, it shouldn't take long before the ethanol debacle is finally and thankfully buried.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ethanol Gas Destroying Snowmobile Engines

In more grim news concerning the ethanol industry, snowmobilers are reporting a new gas, E10, which is a mixture including 10 percent ethanol, is ruining engines of their machines.

Snowmobiles and ethanol simply do not mix, and it's best to just get rid of the combination before the machine is destroyed completely.

"There's a major issue with ethanol in that in as little as ten days ethanol will separate from gas and if you burn straight ethanol in a snowmobile or a lawnmower or something like that you're going to cook the engine on it," said Lt. Pat Dorian with the Maine Warden Service.
If that's not enough, condensation can be a huge problem too, as water can absorb ethanol, which can also destroy the snowmobile engines.

Now the solution to the problem of condensation is to put an additive in with your gas which prevents the ethanol from separating from the gasoline.

I have a better idea: get rid of ethanol permanently. This is getting more ludicrous by the moment. You put ethanol in your machines, although they'll get ruined, then you have to go out and get an additive to prevent the engine from getting ruined by putting ethanol in in the first place. Just use the normal gasoline you have always used, that will keep all this nonsense from happening.

This just shows the corn-based ethanol isn't the only issue, it's ethanol itself that's the issue.

Ethanol Fix continues to call for the complete abandonment of the pursuit of ethanol as a viable biofuel.

It doesn't matter which piece of power equipment run by small engines you have, it's going to end up being ruined by the use of ethanol mixed gas in it.

When you consider you're riding a snowmobile in many cases far away from home, it can become a potential danger and hazard to run it with ethanol, similar to running an outboard motor in the summer far away from where you put it in the water. It's becoming dangerous to use the mixed fuel, as it could result in harm to the user.

Now with calls for a higher mixture of ethanol in gas used for snowmobiles and other power equipment, it's going to get worse if this outrage continues, as not only is it unsafe, but it's getting costly to owners as small engine mechanics confirm they've never seen so many small engine equipment in their shops.

To me, snowmobiles, generators, chainsaws, boat motors, among many, can pose a danger to those using them with ethanol when the chances of them malfunctioning or not functioning could end up being a physical danger to the user.

Taking everything into consideration, snowmobiles aren't a good fit for ethanol, and neither are chainsaws, generators and boat motors. It's time to drop the usage, as the current bitterly cold winter shows, it could be a matter of life and death if your snowmobile malfunctions far away from safety because ethanaol messed up the engine.

We need to communicate with our lawmakers and let them know the damage and safety hazard ethanol is when used in snowmobiles and other power equipment we own. That way we can get rid of the misguided strategy and drill for more oil that already exists and put our research money into something that works.

Snowmobiles using ethanol isn't one of those areas that we should be even thinking about considering, as experience has proven.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Government's Ethanol Policy Costing another 75 Jobs: Butterball Laying Off 75 Workers

The horrendous, artificial ethanol industry continues to devastate other American industry, as Butterball announced it would be laying off another 75 workers, this time in Carthage, Missouri.

Last year the company had to lay off another 490 workers in Longmont, Colorado, citing the surging corn prices caused by corn-based ethanol subsidies from the U.S. government.

CEO Keith Shoemaker says this time around the problem continues to be the terrible government-sponsored ethanol policies which have artificially inflated the price of corn.

Many other animal-based businesses are experiencing the same disaster, as feed prices continue to rise.

Ethanol Fix continues to call upon the government to stop this atrocity and rescind the failed law and plan.

Pacific Ethanol Shuts Down Madera Plant

Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) continues to fight to survive, as they have now shut down the Madera plant, although they say it's only a temporary move.

This follows their disastrous third quarter, where "Losses for the company widened by an extraordinary amount, surging to $54.9 million, or 98 cents a share, in contrast to the same quarter last year where losses were at $4.8 million."

None of this will end any time soon, as on average ethanol is 60 cents higher in cost than gasoline, and make gas prices higher when included in the mix. Consequently, demand continues to fall, in spite of the misguided subsidies offered by the government.

Take the subsidies out of there, and the real story would be far worse for this ongoing debacle that is becoming more of a religion than at legitimate alternative.

This has pummeled the company's stock, which on January 9, 2008 was at $8 a share, now it stands at a pathetic 56 cents a share.

We need to end this ignorant pursuit of corn-based ethanol, and cellulosic ethanol as well. Those of the ethanol religion are now attempting to get the mind of the public off the corn-based ethanol debacle and make it look like the even more expensive cellulosic ethanol is the answer.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Obama's Pick of Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary Grim News for Nation

Obama hasn't shown a lot of wisdom in his cabinet choices so far, and is evidenced in relationship to ethanol, as he picked ethanol subsidy proponent Tom Vilsack, former Iowa governor, to lead the Department of Agriculture.

The conflict of interest is too obvious to have to comment on, in that Iowa has been the largest recipient of taxpayer dollars, receiving the largest portion of the over $25 billion wasted on ethanol subsidies so far.

Not only that, but Vilsack is even more radical in pushing for larger subsidies for the failing biofuel strategy.

It's hard to understand how Obama on one side of his mouth asks for a cap on subsidies for wealthy farmers, citing the excessive power the special interest group wields, and then on the other side of his mouth places someone like Vilsack in charge of the Department of Agriculture. It's a grim, complete disaster.

"The president-elect’s own history is difficult to square with his recent farm-reform talk. Obama ardently backed ethanol subsidies while in the Senate — his home state of Illinois trails only Iowa in corn production — and one of his closest confidants, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, is as responsible as any politician for the explosion in these subsidies."

Not only does corn-based ethanol require more inputs than other crops, but the usual unintended consequences have emerged, and as usual hurt the little people the most, as processed food prices soared in response to the artificial propping up of the prices of corn, driven only by Federal subsidies.

It looks like a lot more pain will have to be inflicted on people before politicians and environmentalist admit the failure of this venture, which was instigated by the unholy agreement between the two.

Now that the obvious results of the disaster are becoming known, green groups are trying to distance themselves from the debacle, as they're made to look like the fools they are.

All of us are still waiting to see where the reform promised by Obama is going to implemented. So far it's business as usual in Washington. And in the case of ethanol, it's an increasing disaster no one is willing to admit to and just drop off the subsidy list.