Q: What do you get when you cross environmentalists with Tea Partiers?*


 

A: Common ground on the bad environmental economics of the ethanol mandate.

The summary:

This week, the EPA is expected to announce changes to the ethanol mandate, a 2007 law that requires energy companies to mix billions of gallons of ethanol into gasoline and diesel fuels. After six years in the mix, corn-based ethanol has lost its popularity, and a diverse group of critics is calling for the law’s repeal.

Why are environmentalists in favor of a rollback/repeal?

Though ethanol fuel releases less carbon dioxide than other kinds of gas, many question if the side effects of production are worth it…Growing corn requires fertilizer, which requires natural gas to make. Fertilizer also has contaminated rivers and drinking water, says the report. And ethanol factories usually burn coal or gas, which dumps carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Why are Tea Partiers in favor of a rollback/repeal?

Other opponents complain the mandate — like any energy subsidy — is free market poison, claiming it “distorts fuel markets and will raise gasoline prices, especially as the increased blending requirements collide with declining demand for gasoline,” reports Politico.

Strange bedfellows indeed.

And who is in favor of keeping the mandate?

Meanwhile, the ethanol industry is asking the AP to retract the story. “At best, the AP article is lazy journalism, but at worst, it appears purposefully designed to damage the ethanol industry,” American Coalition for Ethanol Executive Vice President Brian Jennings said in a statement to the press. “There was an incredibly reckless disregard for the truth in the handiwork of this hit-piece.”

And who is the American Coalition for Ethanol?

ACE is a non-profit, membership-based organization with about 1,500 members including:

  • ethanol producers
  • farmers
  • investors
  • the agriculture community
  • industry suppliers
  • rural electric cooperatives
  • others supportive of ethanol.

Hmmmm.

*Partial credit if you answered ‘Tim’

Q: What do you get when you cross environmentalists with Tea Partiers?*
Tim Haab
Wed, 13 Nov 2013 14:53:48 GMT

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