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Posted: 2/26/2006 11:21:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2006 11:21:44 AM EDT by bastiat]
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/02/16/BAG04H9IQG1.DTL


After nearly a decade of complaints and lawsuits from California political leaders and environmental groups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday revoked a long-standing mandate that oil refiners put additives like ethanol into their clean-burning gasoline.

"This is great news for California,'' said San Francisco Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has led the battle with the EPA in trying to get rid of the requirement in California. "The announcement means that California refiners will finally be allowed to make gasoline that is cleaner burning than what they're making today."

Refiners and their representatives said Wednesday that they don't yet know how much they will reduce the use of ethanol, but state air-quality officials would like to see a reduction and have long argued that the use of ethanol as a gas additive during the summer can contribute to ozone levels.

The passage of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 removed the requirement, and the new regulations released Wednesday by the EPA put in place the program to remove the additive requirement. The decision will go into effect in California 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register this summer.

Since 1999, the state has opposed a mandatory use of an oxygen-boosting additive, saying that refiners could meet state standards for reformulated gas without an additive. By then, they knew that the MTBE used by refiners was a foul-tasting ether that leaked from underground tanks and contaminated drinking water and other water supplies in California and all over the country.

The state appealed to the EPA to issue a waiver to the requirement, arguing in high-level letters from Feinstein, two governors and the state Air Resources Board and, later, in lawsuits. The EPA was firm in its insistence to keep the mandate.

California was among the first states to ban MTBE in 2004 under an order by Gov. Gray Davis. Since then, about two dozen states have banned MTBE, a petroleum refining byproduct.

In releasing the new regulations on Wednesday, EPA officials referred to the former requirements as "burdensome.''

"Yes, they were burdensome,'' said John Millett, an EPA spokesman in Washington. "What was unforeseen was the banning of MTBE in some states because it was getting into groundwater. After MTBE was off the table, it was burdensome for states like California and New York that didn't have a strong ethanol base to meet the requirements.''

Luke Tonachel, a fuels analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said his group has supported California's request for a waiver because of the clean-air benefits.

"Ethanol, when used in small quantities as an additive in gasoline, can cause air-quality problems especially in urban areas that already have severe ozone problems," he said. "It's particularly problematic in areas like the South Coast.''

In the summer, a phenomenon called "permeation'' occurs when hydrocarbons from the ethanol-laced gasoline migrate through the flexible hoses and connectors in a car's fuel system as well as from the gas tank, he said.

In 2005, California refiners used an estimated 900 million gallons of ethanol and blended it at 5.7 percent of the volume into clean-burning gas.

While refiners can opt out of using ethanol in reformulated gasoline, they must meet another part of the Energy Policy Act, called the Renewable Fuel Standards, which requires refiners over time to increase the use of ethanol. In 2006, they must use 4 billion gallons nationwide.

Stephanie Price, spokeswoman at Chevron Corp. in San Ramon, said with the change in the regulations, refineries now will have the flexibility to determine how much ethanol to use and in which parts of the country to use it. Refiners can also use bio-diesel and other renewable fuels to meet the standard, she said.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, chief operating officer of Western States Petroleum Association, an industry group, said the corporations have invested millions of dollars into new infrastructure at distribution centers to deliver ethanol-added gasoline.

When refiners make business decisions in the future on how to change their reformulated gas formula, she said, "they'll have to take into account the investments that have already made during the time California couldn't get a waiver.

"It's not that ethanol won't be used. But the new regulations allow the flexibility to deal with the availability problems,'' she said.

The California Energy Commission conducted an ethanol-market outlook in November, and found that the oil refiners like ethanol because it extended the gasoline supply.

"The infrastructure is in place now, and for the time being they're going to continue using it,'' said commission spokesman Rob Schlichting.



So let's see:

-Crappy fuel additive
-Causes more pollution over regular gasoline
-Ethanol blends lower mpg over straight gas use
-Ethanol production receives huge subsidies
-GWB's new ethanol mandates produce an artifiical spike in demand, raising prices on ethanol and prices on blended gasoline.

But hey, as long as we're funneling money to the corn growers and ADM, who cares how the taxpayers and consumers get screwed?

Link Posted: 2/26/2006 11:31:44 AM EDT
I'll bet if you look back into her history that fucking cunt supported both ethanol and MTB in the past.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 11:37:33 AM EDT
So let me get this straight. You are believing word for word a news article that qoutes Diane Feinstein?



You do realize that San Francisco is left leaning and hates Bush right? So most likely any attempt they can get to bash Bush would be used and exaggerated. But hey, go ahead and keep quoting Feinstein if you want.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 11:41:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2006 11:46:23 AM EDT by bastiat]

Originally Posted By SWIRE:
So let me get this straight. You are believing word for word a news article that qoutes Diane Feinstein?



You do realize that San Francisco is left leaning and hates Bush right? So most likely any attempt they can get to bash Bush would be used and exaggerated. But hey, go ahead and keep quoting Feinstein if you want.



So do you have anything else to add other than the smileys and the dismissing of the article because feinstein happens to be quoted in it?

That's pretty weak right there.

Let me turn it around: You know it's shit when the people who you'd think would be supporting it actually turn against it.

You always seem to be shilling for ehtanol. What's the deal: Do you grow it or is it grown in your area?

Ethanol is a net energy loser. It takes more energy to raise, harvest, transport, and produce than the ehtanol produces. So we end up in an energy hole instead of an energy surplus by using ethanol.

So again, why do you think it's good? Do you know someone who gets money from the taxpayers in order to produce it?
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 11:46:08 AM EDT
Here's another educational link: (follow the article to a pdf link of the actual study)

http://www.votervoice.net/Core.aspx?AID=163&Screen=alert&IssueId=6037



In wake of the Assembly passage of Assembly Bill 15, the 10% ethanol mandate legislation, WMC members need to contact their State Senator and urge them to stop the proposal. WMC opposes AB 15 because it will kill jobs and lead to substantial regulatory costs to businesses.



The DNR released a report stating that burning ethanol will increase nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 13 tons per day, or the equivalent of a 350 Megawatt coal-fired power plant. As a result, the ethanol mandate will make our existing ozone pollution problem even worse.

Because of this additional pollution, the DNR pledged to require statewide pollution controls on manufacturers and utilities if the legislature passes the AB 15 ethanol mandate. The pain would be felt throughout Wisconsin - including increased electric rates and lost jobs statewide.


Wisconsin businesses cannot afford costly pollution controls, and it's not fair to force industry to pay the cost of cleaning pollution they didn't create.




All the claims of the pro-ethanol lobby can be shown to be lies under examination. Ethanol blends cause more pollution than regular gasoline. It does not "clean the air".
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 11:46:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2006 12:01:40 PM EDT by PeteCO]
GWB and his administration know jack shit about alternative energy. First it was The Hydrogen Economy ™, now it's ethanol. Even the random nature of what "strategic initiative" is currently in vogue with them makes them look like rubes.


Oh. and ethanol IS net energy-positive by the way.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 11:47:39 AM EDT
GREAT!!! The city that i live in is just finishing a multi-million dollar ethanol plant just outside of town. i thought it was a bad idea when it was proposed and i think it is an even worse idea now.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 11:49:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By grizzlyarms:
GREAT!!! The city that i live in is just finishing a multi-million dollar ethanol plant just outside of town. i thought it was a bad idea when it was proposed and i think it is an even worse idea now.



likely subsidized with your tax dollars, too.

If ethanol blended gas was a product that had to compete on the free and open market, it wouldn't exist. People would laugh at it.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 11:59:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bastiat:

Originally Posted By SWIRE:
So let me get this straight. You are believing word for word a news article that qoutes Diane Feinstein?



You do realize that San Francisco is left leaning and hates Bush right? So most likely any attempt they can get to bash Bush would be used and exaggerated. But hey, go ahead and keep quoting Feinstein if you want.



So do you have anything else to ad other than the smileys and the dismissing of the article because feinstein happens to be quoted in it?

That's pretty weak right there.



Yeah I have plenty to add but first... you come here and post crap written by Diane Feistein, act like it's fact, and do no research of your own. Then you get pissy when people rip on you for it.

The only argument they have against ethanol is that "In the summer, a phenomenon called "permeation'' occurs when hydrocarbons from the ethanol-laced gasoline migrate through the flexible hoses and connectors in a car's fuel system as well as from the gas tank". What they are saying is more hydrocarbon escapes through the hoses with ethanol fuels than with other fuels. Notice I said more as all fuels allow hydrocarbons to escape into the atmosphere. What isn't said is that exhaust emissions are still cleaner with ethanol fuels. Now tell me what do you think you get more of, fuel permeating through the fuel lines or being burnt in the engine? Obviously you burn much more fuel so this argument that ethanol causes more pollution is pure bullshit spun by the master of bullshit herself.



Let me turn it around: You know it's shit when the people who you'd think would be supporting it actually turn against it.



They don't have an ethanol base in California. They have to import it from the red states.




You always seem to be shilling for ehtanol. What's the deal: Do you grow it or is it grown in your area?
[/quote

I grew up in Illinois on a farm but live in Kentucky now where there is no ethanol usage other than the standard 10%. I would rather see the dollars I spend at the pump go to America's farmers than go to a foreign country, it's as simple as that. The US exports tons and tons of corn. I say we keep the corn here and tell the middle east to drink their oil.


Ethanol is a net energy loser. It takes more energy to raise, harvest, transport, and produce than the ehtanol produces. So we end up in an energy hole instead of an energy surplus by using ethanol.



Actually if you talk to the people that actually produce it and not some liberal college professor who has no real life experience, it is not. The people that claim it's a net energy loss factor in the cost of not only farming the corning, but of building the tractors, of building the ethanol plants, of making the concrete, and leave out the profits from the sale of the left over grain as feed, which is still holds a decent value. When the whole process is factored in there is a small positive energy gain and profit. Technology will work to improve those. Ethanol is taking off big time and people are doing it out of choice. If it didn't hold a profit that wouldn't be happening.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 12:05:20 PM EDT
US farm products are so subsidized Its rediculus. In the end the only thing that subsidies do is hurt the bery farmers its supposed to help. It keeps farmers who in a free market would have gone under a long time ago in buisness. Its a waste. If we did away with farm subsidies It would hurt for a few years and then we would be better off. NZ did this and everyone now agrees that the farmers are in a way better position. If most companys did what farmers do (get together to artificialy hold up prices) they would be in jail.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 12:18:36 PM EDT
So does this mean they're going to stop blending fuel?


Does this mean I won't have to worry about twice yearly gasoline shortages and price spikes as they change blends?
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 12:57:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWIRE:
Actually if you talk to the people that actually produce it and not some liberal college professor who has no real life experience, it is not. The people that claim it's a net energy loss factor in the cost of not only farming the corning, but of building the tractors, of building the ethanol plants, of making the concrete, and leave out the profits from the sale of the left over grain as feed, which is still holds a decent value. When the whole process is factored in there is a small positive energy gain and profit. Technology will work to improve those. Ethanol is taking off big time and people are doing it out of choice. If it didn't hold a profit that wouldn't be happening.



+1

There is a net gain of energy, which will only get better as more and more plants come online.

The pressed corn or whatever grain they will be using is easily saleable for decent money.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 1:32:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWIRE:

Originally Posted By bastiat:

Originally Posted By SWIRE:
So let me get this straight. You are believing word for word a news article that qoutes Diane Feinstein?



You do realize that San Francisco is left leaning and hates Bush right? So most likely any attempt they can get to bash Bush would be used and exaggerated. But hey, go ahead and keep quoting Feinstein if you want.



So do you have anything else to ad other than the smileys and the dismissing of the article because feinstein happens to be quoted in it?

That's pretty weak right there.



Yeah I have plenty to add but first... you come here and post crap written by Diane Feistein, act like it's fact, and do no research of your own. Then you get pissy when people rip on you for it.



Please. "getting pissy"? Try posting something other than smileys as a rebuttal next time.

I have done research. It's a crappy fuel. It WOULD NOT exist in a free marketplace.

The only reason it's "taking off" in some places is that it's been subsidized. And now it's being mandated.

Hell, if The government mandated that 10% of all AK's and AR's sold MUST be hesse products, they'd take off too.

And if the goverment taxed the sales of other gun makers and subsidized hesse's production, they'd take off as well.

The only flaw in the comparison is that hesse might actually end up improving its quality.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 1:39:25 PM EDT
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/031128.html


Corn belt states began subsidizing ethanol after the Arab oil embargo of 1973. The federal government joined the party a few years later. The Energy Tax Act of 1978 authorized an excise tax exemption for biofuels, chiefly gasohol (a gasoline blend containing at least 10 percent ethanol). Another federal program provided loan guarantees for the construction of ethanol plants, and in 1986 the U.S. even gave ethanol producers free corn. It's estimated that the excise exemption alone costs U.S. taxpayers as much as $1.4 billion per year.

The immediate beneficiaries of ethanol subsidies have been corn farmers and, more significantly, the Archer Daniels Midland Corporation of Decatur, Illinois, better known as ADM. The world's largest grain processor, ADM produces 40 percent of the ethanol used to make gasohol. As might be supposed, the company and its officers have been eloquent in their defense of ethanol and generous in contributing to both political parties. The politicians have been generous right back. The libertarian Cato Institute estimates that every dollar of ADM's ethanol profit costs taxpayers 30 bucks.

One might not mind spending the money if it bought us something--energy independence, say, or cleaner air. But based on current evidence, it doesn't. Ethanol contains only about two-thirds as much energy per gallon as gasoline, so cars using ethanol blends get lower mileage. Though ethanol can reduce carbon monoxide emissions, the fuel may well produce more of other air pollutants. True, the ethanol industry drives corn prices up, which helps farmers--but a 1986 USDA study found we'd be better off mailing the farmers checks rather than propping up an entire industry with tax dollars. (Ethanol has since been touted as a substitute for MTBE, an additive that makes gasoline burn cleaner but also causes groundwater pollution. However, skeptics claim that due to improvements in engine technology, it'd be better just to dispense with such additives altogether.)

The capper, though, is the claim that it takes more energy to make a gallon of ethanol than you get by burning it. One of the most vocal proponents of this view is Cornell University ecology professor David Pimentel. In an analysis published in 2001 in the peer-reviewed Encyclopedia of Physical Sciences and Technology, Pimentel argued that when you add up all the energy costs--the fuel for farm tractors, the natural gas used to distill corn sugars into alcohol, and so on--making a gallon of ethanol takes 70 percent more energy than the finished product contains. And because that production energy comes mostly from fossil fuels, gasohol isn't just wasting money but hastening the depletion of nonrenewable resources.

These findings were denounced by ethanol producers and their allies. Michael Graboski, a professor of engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, published a rebuttal of Pimentel's paper, saying he used obsolete data, etc. Pimentel in turn rebutted the rebuttal. The debate has gotten pretty technical. I make only a few observations: (1) Pimentel seems to have tweaked his calculations--in an August bulletin from Cornell, he says making a gallon of ethanol takes 29 percent more energy than it provides, not 70 percent. (2) That conceded, the guy is no flake, among other things having chaired a U.S. Department of Energy panel that investigated ethanol economics (and reached similar conclusions) in 1980. Graboski, on the other hand, is a consultant to the National Corn Growers Association. (3) Given that ethanol production involves the conversion of massive amounts of energy from one form to another, the contention that the process is an efficient way to make fuel seems to fly in the face of basic physics--so much so that I'm inclined to regard the subsidy program, and the fact that it has survived for a quarter century, with something approaching awe. Money-wasting government schemes are hardly rare. But how many do you know of that flout the second law of thermodynamics?



So now are you going to slam this article because you have something against the cato institute?
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 1:40:40 PM EDT
American corn sucks. What we need is more oil from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 1:46:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
American corn sucks. What we need is more oil from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.



Or oil from our own gulf, our own coasts, and ANWR.

Link Posted: 2/26/2006 1:47:54 PM EDT
IF anyone wants to argue "research", check out this report from the CATO institute first. From 1995, but if anything, things have gotten worse for consumers (and better for ADM and the corn growers)

Archers Daniels Midland: A case study in corporate welfare
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