Forget about investigating “Big Oil”; you know who we should investigate? Big Corn.

From The Corner on National Review Online (they’re quoting “Kim Strassel’s Wall Street Journal article on the Senate’s ‘Gang of Ten.'”) [emphasis mine throughout]:

… it was probably too much to assume every Republican would work out that their side was winning [the energy] issue. And so, last Friday, in stumbled Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker and Johnny Isakson — alongside five Senate Democrats. This “Gang of 10” announced a “sweeping” and “bipartisan” energy plan to break Washington’s energy “stalemate.” What they did was throw every vulnerable Democrat, and Mr. Obama, a life preserver.

That’s because the plan is a Democratic giveaway. New production on offshore federal lands is left to state legislatures, and then in only four coastal states. The regulatory hurdles are huge. And the bill bars drilling within 50 miles of the coast — putting off limits some of the most productive areas. Alaska’s oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still a no-go.

The highlight is instead $84 billion in tax credits, subsidies and federal handouts for alternative fuels and renewables. The Gang of 10 intends to pay for all this in part by raising taxes on . . . oil companies! The Sierra Club couldn’t have penned it better. And so the Republican Five has potentially given antidrilling Democrats the political cover they need to neutralize energy through November.

There’s one word that explains why these five Republicans are selling out: Biofuels. The gang’s “compromise bill” contains billions in subsidies for research into biofuels, and for the manufacture of ethanol-burning cars.

Thune is from the corn-producing state of South Dakota and has always been a big advocate for corn ethanol. The flagship university in Corker’s home state of Tennessee houses a major biofuels research center, specializing in cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass. Chambliss is the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He and Isakson both represent Georgia, where they are trying to figure out how to turn Georgia peanuts into fuel. And Graham — well, Graham just seems to have a mania for joining bipartisan gangs.

The worst part — as Strassel points out — is that the gang would raise the money for these new ethanol ventures by repealing tax provisions that allow oil companies to write off the cost of expanding refinery capacity. Whatever this bill is, it’s not a cheaper-gas bill. In fact, despite its meager drilling provisions, it looks a lot like the opposite.

Why, isn’t this just brillant, let’s waste more money on ethanol and other bio “fuels”.

Here’s a few facts about ethanol:

Ethanol pollutes the air more than gasoline does (CBS News, NPR, FOX News).

Ethanol provides fewer miles per gallon than gasoline does (AP via Newsday).

It takes more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than that gallon of ethanol provides! That makes ethanol a net loser when it comes to energy.

And switch grass, wood biomass, soybean, and sunflower bio “fuels” are even worst than corn ethanol according to researchers at Cornell University and the University of California-Berkeley (Green Car Congress):

In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, their calculations determined that:

  • Corn requires 29% more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
  • Switch grass requires 45% more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
  • Wood biomass requires 57% more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for biodiesel production, the study found that:

  • Soybean plants requires 27% more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
  • Sunflower plants requires 118% more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

The World Bank has stated that the use of ethanol as a fuel source has increased food prices by 75% world wide (The right-wing liberal).

So, because Americans are using corn as a fuel source instead of a food source, people in developing nations are starving to death because they don’t have money to pay for the massive increase in food costs.

This ethanol bull@#$% is required as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Care to guess which Presidential candidate voted against the bill four times in the United States Senate?

John McCain (Roll call vote 152, 158, 212, 213).

Care to guess who voted for the bill four times and is now complaining about it? (The right-wing liberal again, different link)

Barack Obama (Ibid).

Care to guess whom I’m going to vote for this year?

(Read more at The right-wing liberal too.)

2 Comments

  1. Tom James says:

    Look at it this way. At least that money is not going to Mexico, China, Pakistan, or Israel.

    And maybe American farmers will benefit. It also secures our control of the world FOOD. We feed the world, they want to screw with us, starve them.

    Here’s your next car, if we can defeat the corporations.

    http://newenergynews.blogspot.com/2008/06/neil-young-rocking-electric-car.html

    It produces it’s own electricity and powers your home sending the rest back to the grid. Reversing the flow of power from the power plant to the homes and sending it from the homes to the grid.

  2. If we could drill in the United States, other countries wouldn’t be getting the money.

    And it’s corporate farms and other corporations that are profiting from ethanol production (e.g., ADM). And if isn’t ethanol production, it’s the $290,000,000,000 “farm” bill that has no income caps on assistance to farms:

    http://www.imsurroundedbyidiots.com/2008/05/15/republicans-support-290000000000-corporate-welfare-bill/

    Not only that, but ethanol production is causing food prices to skyrocket in the United States and around the world.

    Ethanol is a product that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the government requiring it.

    It’s a net loser when it comes to energy as I stated as well.

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