Synthetic fuel another failed government program

by Jim Campbell

A closer look at the failure of ethanol; will other attempts to replace oil be just as futile?

Congress must revisit the federal mandate requiring the diversion of foodstuffs for production of bio-fuels. These “food-to-fuel” mandates were meant to move America toward energy independence and mitigate global climate change.


Former Vice President, Albert Gore Jr. was correct. “The science is settled.” Recent data completely refutes the political hoax called man-made global warming. The entire program has been based upon a false premise.

Clearly, the majority of the federal government’s ideas and legislation are followed by unintended consequence.

The evidence irrefutably demonstrates once again that federal law lead to a failed policy. Congressional mandates are not delivering on either goal. In fact, it is causing environmental harm and contributing to a growing global food crisis.

Without continued government subsidies the entire program would never be economically viable.

Food-to-fuel mandates were created with good intention. The hope of using American-grown crops to fuel our cars seemed like a win-win-win scenario: Our farmers would enjoy the benefit of crop-price stability.

Having a new domestic energy source would enhance our national security. A cleaner fuel would protect our environment. But the likelihood of these outcomes was never seriously tested, and new evidence has shown that the justifications for these mandates were inaccurate.

Increased agricultural production also means increased fertilizer use. The National Academy of Sciences reported that meeting the congressional food-to-fuel mandate by 2022 would lead to a 10 to 19 percent increase in the size of the Gulf of Mexico’s “dead zone;”  an area so polluted by fertilizer runoff that no aquatic life can survive there.

This report was issued well before the current crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, which may very well be the biggest man caused ecologic catastrophe in U.S. history.

Meanwhile, the mandates are not reducing our dependence on foreign oil. In 2008, the United States burned about a quarter of its national corn supply as fuel; and this led to only a 1 percent reduction in the country’s oil consumption.

Turning one-fourth of our corn into fuel is affecting global food prices. U.S. food prices are rising at twice the rate of inflation, hitting the pocketbooks of lower-income Americans, many living in Santa Ana, CA and people living on fixed incomes.

Congress took a big chance on bio-fuels that, unfortunately, has not worked out. Let’s learn the appropriate lessons from this setback, and act to mitigate the damage and set upon a new course that holds greater promise for future.

Random thoughts while observing the continuing national charade, I’m J.C.

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5 thoughts on “Synthetic fuel another failed government program

  1. Ethanol is an idea born out of desire
    to produce cheap fuel, provide a corn
    market for farmers, and satisfy the
    environmentalists. Corn is, like,
    “sooooo natural,” unlike eeeevil oil.

    I was born & raised on a farm until I left
    home at age 18 to go to college. Feeding
    livestock, milking cows, washing the milk
    separator, gathering & washing eggs were
    my chores daily, since my dad never had

    My small Iowa town solicited area farmers
    and businessmen as stockholders and
    built a large ethanol plant about 7 or 8 years ago.
    It created about 40 jobs.
    It was also a constant, big market for corn
    produced by said farmers. Gas pumps in
    service stations immediately converted to
    offer ethanol. Now, ethanol was considerably
    higher-priced than regular gasoline. And
    when you breakdown the components of
    ethanol, I believe it’s like 90% regular gasoline
    with the corn additive being just 10%.
    Most consumers opted for the cheaper,
    normal gasoline. Some stations don’t offer
    it anymore, I don’t think.

    The federal government gives ethanol producers a generous 51-cent-a-gallon tax credit. Mandated is that a massive amount of their fuel be blended into the nation’s gasoline supplies. And those mandates increase every year. In 2009 the mandate was 11 billion gallons and, as your article states, is on its way to 36 billion gallons in 2022.

    Several years ago, ethanol producers made about $2 per gallon. But the global economic slowdown created a glut of ethanol on the market, so that by the end of 2008 ethanol producers were making a mere 25 cents per gallon. This had the effect of closing many
    ethanol plants, although the plant in my
    town is still going.

    Using so much corn to produce ethanol
    resulted in less corn being produced for
    food. This, in turn, led to a sizeable hike
    in the price of corn food products, and
    also caused price of corn-fed beef & pork
    to hike up.

    Turns out ethanol is also bad for the environment. Studies at Princeton University
    have proved biofuels cause deforestation,
    which libs claim speeds climate change. I
    also heard that the ethanol boom rapidly increased the amount of fertilizer polluting the Mississippi River. Some of the ex-employees at the ethanol plant claim that it can take as much
    as 1,000 gallons of water to create just ONE
    gallon of ethanol.

    After all this, ethanol accounted for just
    3% of fuel use last year. Should we decide
    to exclusively plant only corn, and
    eliminate soybeans & oats, then we could
    possibly have ethanol become 15% of
    fuel useage.

    My old German father used to say that he
    could make a living off 120 acres by
    raising corn, soybeans and oats. We fed
    20 stock cows at a time, sending them to
    market twice a year. About 150 feeder pigs
    at a time, again twice a year. Usual chickens
    and cows that we raised for our own
    eggs, milk & meat, selling excess eggs
    & cream to the town creamery for extra
    income. Once the Farm Program became
    entrenched, my dad saw the frustration of
    being paid NOT to farm so as to keep the
    volume of farm goods down & prices up.
    He always said the gov’t needed to get out
    of the way and let the free market work.

    • My wife lived on a farm in Indiana Nee…Same background. Were you ever told how much milk went down the drain to keep the prices high enough for you to make a profit? Same thing with bio-fuels

  2. I sent a storm of hard written letters to the dundeheads on the hill concerning the foolishness of ‘corn to fuel’ policy. It is counter productive and will make US more dependence on ‘pathogenic produce, maggot ridden meat, and rotten sushi from places which are not COOL (a law since 2004 but not enforced). They crammed upon us anyway.
    I doubt Beltone or bionic ear implants will enhance their aural acuity. Like a stubborn mule, they need an ax handle between their eyes (or ears to drive the point home.
    Charter 21 and CODEX are the real pieces of the agenda. The new ‘Gulf syndrome’ will pave the road to UN sovereignty over US.

    • They are all on the take, remember think Democrat or Republican same whore different dress. Our only hope is to dump the RiNOS, and pick up 39 seats in Congress and take control and put this administration to sleep.

  3. Don’t forget about the milk that the gov’t. bought and converted to cheese, some of which went to schools, and other gov’t. programs. The remainder went into storage, and after a period of time, the older stock was destroyed. Consider the costs of transportation, storage, employee wages and benefits, etc. , etc. and you have the perfect gov’t. program !!

    The rationale for the above waste – growing children need milk.

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