Newt Gingrich took money from the ethanol lobby ----- Washington Post, National Review, Huffington Post, etc. So much corruption surrounding ethanol! Gore supported ethanol when he was running for president and recently admitted his folly. B.Clinton who had money invested in an ethanol plant in Brazil that engaged in slave labor, recently rejected ethanol. Bush put the high levels of ethanol mandate in place. It goes on and on.
The sad thing is it looks like this problem is going to continue with the new trend in reporting on ethanol. Finally, most news outlets are reporting that corn ethanol has problems— inefficiency, land use issues, waterway pollution, food security/inflation, etc. The new narrative is that cellulosic ethanol is the real answer and corn ethanol has been sucking up all the subsidies. If we just give cellulosic “the capital” we will have cheap “homegrown” energy for all.
Cellulosic ethanol has received subsidies and has been unsuccessful. Look at Vinod khosla’s Range Fuels and Cello Energy. Range Fuels has gotten about 162 million in tax-payer dollars and about the same in private funding, but has not produced the cellulosic ethanol it promised. WSJ reported that the Range Fuels CEO says that no one has figured out how to produce commercially viable portions of cellulosic ethanol. And Cello Energy is bankrupt. (See WSJ 2/10/11 The Range Fuels Fiasco)
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Enchanting Ethanol Enchanting Ethanol is all about a community finding out that green is not always green. Veronica and Nick buy a dilapidated cottage in an enchanting Chesapeake Bay community. They imagine spending their weekends hanging on the beach with their two little kids, watching wildlife and drinking beer. But their dream is interrupted when a phony green investor, in cahoots with the local trash mafia, sees the community as an easy target for an ethanol plant.
The phony environmentalists envision collecting green government subsidies when the local bumpkins greet the ethanol plant with open arms, but they are surprised. In a comedic series of town hall meetings, the proud local stewards of the environmentally fragile Chesapeake Bay area are tough and resourceful. This is not some preachy documentary. This is kid-centered adventure that features Veronica and Nick’s young family. Things become dangerous when their boy, enthralled with a bottle picturing a one-eyed man he believes to be a pirate, takes a beer bottle that contains stolen cellulose-eating beetles. The gun-totting trash mafia who own the stolen beetles, they hope to use to produce ethanol, hunt down the family while they are hiking. As the family runs the tension builds each time the bottle which is in the boys backpack is bumped, for if the beetles escape all the Bay woodlands and marshes could be eaten by the bugs. The quirky locals rescue the family and, to protect the Chesapeake Bay, expose the ethanol scam.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
"EU Biofuel Targets Encourage Unethical Practices Worldwide, Study Says"
Not the first time we have heard of ethical issues related to biofuels production. Besides “displacement of indigenous peoples in the developing world, higher prices for food crops, and forest loss" slave labor has been found. It was reported in 2008 (by AP and others) that an ethanol company in which Bill Clinton, Ron Burkle, and Vinod Khosla were invested in was investigated for slave labor by Brazil's Labor Ministry. Appalling conditions were found.
Talking to NPR about how a Greener Biofuels Tax Credit can take us beyond corn ethanol | Sasha Lyutse's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC
Talking to NPR about how a Greener Biofuels Tax Credit can take us beyond corn ethanol Sasha Lyutse's Blog Switchboard, from NRDC
I am trying to be open-minded about this article but I have a few issues, the first issue being NPR’s reporting on ethanol. I have beaten my head against the wall for years trying to get NPR to report on the problems with ethanol. I really feel NPR has been suffering from a sheep-like mind set that, because it sounds green, it must be green.
This is not a new issue for many of us out here in the trenches that have been protecting our communities from ethanol refineries. Here in Pennsylvania, a handful of us (and a very good environmental lawyer paid for by one family in our group) have kept two separate ethanol initiatives from building two different ethanol plants on farmland on the banks of the Susquehanna River (which flows directly to the Chesapeake Bay). Frankly, it has been exhausting and cost the family that paid for the attorney lots of money. This scenario has been repeated all over the country but nothing from NPR, about us environmentalists who were have protecting our homes, farms and waterways.
We even had what seemed like juicy news details to entice NPR. The Alexander Strategy Group (actually a partner and former press secretary for former US representative and possible presidential candidate Rick Santorum) contacted our environmental activism group in a dark alley. Not kidding-- they approached me in a dark alley outside a tiny rural firehouse and offered to “help” us. They said some of their clients were supportive of our efforts to stop a corn ethanol plant from being built. They continued to contact members of our group via a “Media and Issue Advocacy” firm working for the Alexander Strategy Group. Whenever I asked who their clients were the names changed. Sometimes it was the “Small Business Survival Committee”, or the “Association of Consumers and Taxpayers” or “Americans For Tax Reform.”
Secondly, I can’t see pouring more money into “next generation biofuels”. We have tried that unsuccessfully already. Have you looked into Vinod khosla’s Range Fuels and Cello Energy? Range Fuels has gotten about 162 million in tax payer dollars and about the same in private funding and has not produced the cellulosic ethanol it promised. WSJ reported that the Range Fuels CEO says no one has figured out how to produce commercially viable portions of cellulosic ethanol . And Cello Energy is bankrupt. (See WSJ 2/10/11 The Range Fuels Fiasco)
Finally, NRDC’s Greener Biofuels Tax Credit may seem good on paper but based on my farming neighborhood, checking those Conservation Scores seems impossible. We still are working on farmers not letting cows stand right in the streams that flow to the Susquehanna and on to the Chesapeake.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Great Article in the New York Times today.
"Rush to Use Crops as Fuel Raises Food Prices and Hunger Fears"
"Rush to Use Crops as Fuel Raises Food Prices and Hunger Fears"
Friday, April 1, 2011
As the world’s attention is drawn to environmental/energy issues and children’s school curricula focuses on environmental/energy issues, the market is ready for a four-quadrant environmental feature film.
Hoping to balance their inside-the beltway weekdays with weekends of chillaxing at a funky old Chesapeake Bay cottage, a hip young family becomes entangled with a band of greedy, dangerous ethanol investors.
Kid merchandising opportunities too!