As NPR is still reeling from the November congressional and public outcry to bar local public radio stations from using taxpayer dollars to purchase NPR programing as a result of perceived bias in “reporting”, it is very surprising that NPR would then turn around and run a lop-sided and at times miserably outdated series on ethanol as produced by Harvest Public Media. After listening and reading the past two days’ “reports”, a number of items need to be addressed.
October was another strong month for U.S. ethanol exports, according to government data released today. October shipments of denatured and undenatured (non-beverage) ethanol totaled 34.9 million gallons, down 9.9% from September.
Predictably, as the debate over extending ethanol's tax credit comes to a head, opponents of America's ethanol industry are tripping over themselves to make wild claims and accusations about ethanol. Some even challenge the very character of the RFA and its staff. But as Will Rogers might say, it "just ain't so!"
When it comes to the future of renewable energy in the United States, The New York Times editorializes (12/9/10 Good Energy Subsidies, and Bad) that it wants to do what “makes sense for the environment, the economy, and for American taxpayers.” It also notes “the nation desperately needs new investment in clean energy and the jobs that go with it.” The New York Times then turns its back on those very goals by attacking ethanol.
Posted in Ethanol
While criticizing ethanol, the Post states that there are better alternatives to reduce oil use yet offer no examples. Nor does the Post deem it necessary to highlight the estimated $100-$200 taxpayers fork over to the oil industry each year, and that is before any consideration of military expenditures is included.
Posted in Ethanol
The clock is ticking down to the end of the 1111th Congress, yet big policy issues remain. Chiefly for the American ethanol industry, extending the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) is a top priority. Stage craft around votes on expiring Bush-era tax cuts took place over the weekend to the expected outcome. Now, with that bit of political messaging behind them, both the House and the Senate can get down to business and address those issues that must get done.
Environmental lawyer Timothy Searchinger’s ILUC hypothesis, already reeling, took another crippling blow today when Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has fallen to its lowest rate since the government began collecting data in 1988. Data from the Brazilian government clearly show that Amazon deforestation rates in Brazil have been plunging for the last seven years, and the 2010 rate is less than one-quarter of the rate experienced in 2004 when deforestation reached more than 10,700 square miles. All of this has occurred while U.S. biofuels production has increased dramatically (nearly 300% since 2004), proving once again that there is no correlation between U.S. ethanol output and deforestation. Will the ENGOs and regulators notice?