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Page added on May 30, 2015

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USDA plans to inject $100 million on ethanol

Alternative Energy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to inject $100 million in funding to get more ethanol at the gas pump, according to two industry sources, the latest push to get beyond a “blend wall” that has capped demand for the biofuel.

That would mark a big push for an overhaul of fuel-blending pumps and related infrastructure to generate higher demand for the biofuel. The USDA is expected to announce the funding on Friday, the sources said.

A USDA spokesman declined to comment on the plans.

Ethanol groups have asked the USDA to continue to offer this funding amid rising calls for policy reform from policymakers, oil companies, and environmentalists. The USDA launched a program in 2011 designed to get 10,000 flex-fuel options at gas pumps nationwide that would allow use of blends as high as E85, which is 85 percent ethanol.

The United States sets use requirements for biofuels, including ethanol, through the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, but has delayed setting targets for the current year and 2014 amid concern from oil companies that ethanol use has hit a saturation point without major infrastructure changes.

The plans come as oil companies and biofuels producers await a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on biofuels use requirements for 2014, 2015, and 2016, widely expected to be announced on Friday.




24 Comments on "USDA plans to inject $100 million on ethanol"

  1. Bob Owens on Sat, 30th May 2015 10:15 am 

    An incredible waste of our last few inches of topsoil to try to fill up our SUVs gas tanks. Also a waste of money. Our Government is unable to function on any reasonable level. Any useful actions are going to be on the individual, community level.

  2. shortonoil on Sat, 30th May 2015 10:42 am 

    Oil is $60/barrel, and overflowing storage tanks, and some idiot in the government wants to spend $100 million on high octane moonshine. If anyone has delusions about the government managing the consequences of the end of the oil age, this should convince them that they are barking up the wrong tree. The end of civilization will never be as important as this week’s politics. When all available actions must be reduced to tax it, or bomb it there is not much room remaining for intelligent decisions.

  3. Pveroi on Sat, 30th May 2015 10:50 am 

    Really sad to see that money is being poured into a fuel with almost 1:1 eroi. Just pathetic. GMO corn anyone? No wonder Americans hate their govt

  4. penury on Sat, 30th May 2015 12:31 pm 

    If Ethanol was a money maker, the gov would not be subsidizing it. Monsanto will get richer, ethanol refineries will make money, corn farmers will make money so who cares if millions starve. We is making money.

  5. Ted Wilson on Sat, 30th May 2015 5:00 pm 

    Ethanol’s EROEI is 1 (Input) : 2.3 (Output). While Corn farmers have learnt to get more Corn yield / acre, the Ethanol refiners have learnt to get more Ethanol from a bushel of Corn.

    All Ethanol subsidies were phased out by the end of year 2011 itself. Ethanol industry is sustaining on its own.

    Even at the low Oil prices of $60/barrel, Ethanol’s production is increasing and they are even exporting the fuel to 50 countries.

    Check this stats.

    BTW, I buy 2 gallons of E85 and 9 gallons of E10 to get a mixture of E15. My non flex fuel vehicle is just running fine.

    Meanwhile in Ecuador they are planning to introduce EM15 which contains 5% Ethanol and 10% Methanol. Their vehicles will run just fine.

  6. shortonoil on Sat, 30th May 2015 6:21 pm 

    “All Ethanol subsidies were phased out by the end of year 2011 itself. Ethanol industry is sustaining on its own.”

    That was done with a law, not more efficient ethanol production. It is mandatory that all gasoline used in automobiles contain at least 10% ethanol. If the government had not forced people to pour low quality alcohol into their cars, the ethanol industry would be long gone.

  7. Makati1 on Sat, 30th May 2015 6:24 pm 

    Does one need more proof that the US government is full of insane people?

  8. Ted Wilson on Sat, 30th May 2015 7:46 pm 

    “If the government had not forced people to pour low quality alcohol into their cars, the ethanol industry would be long gone.”

    Let the government remove the mandate, then the ethanol companies will start their own ethanol stations just like Tesla started their own Supercharging stations and start selling E100. The flex fuel vehicles which can run on E85 can also run on E100. The southern states have the same climate as in Brazil where vehicles run on E100. So flex fuel vehicles in California, Texas, Florida can run on E100.

    If government does not mandate E10, then they should not mandate Ethanol of any percentage either. Let the people decide it.

    All over the World, many countries are implementing E5, E10, E15, E20, E27 and so on. Its just another liquid fuel and it will run fine.

    On other front, people with Diesel vehicles will start using B20, B30 and so on.

    Currently I am running my non flex fuel vehicle on a percentage of Ethanol higher than E15, slowly I will boost this to E20, E25, E30 and so on. Let me see to what extent it can go.

  9. Makati1 on Sat, 30th May 2015 8:18 pm 

    Ted, are the parts of your engine able to handle high percentages of alcohol? You might be making a costly mistake. There is a reason the limits were placed on the blend and they are not cost. A gasket/hose designed for gasoline may dissolve under constant high alcohol use unless it is already designed for multi-fuels.

  10. Ted Wilson on Sat, 30th May 2015 8:54 pm 

    Makati : I too had the same fear about gasket/hose problem.

    Then when the E15 was approved by EPA, I waited to buy in any local gas station, only months passed, years passed and I don’t see any E15 being sold near me. Only 100 E15 stations were there in this whole country.

    I saw a website where people mentioned that they run their vehicles at up to E50.

    In Brazil, still 10% of the vehicles sold were non flex fuel vehicles, but all the gas sold is E27. How come their vehicles are running on E27 without any problem. In Thailand, E20 is being sold.

    So I took a dash and tried first by buying 0.1 gallon of E85, then I slowly increased it to 1 gallon of E85 with other 8 gallons of E10. Its all running fine for the past 6 months.

    I don’t want to send even a penny to Saudi Arabia / Al Qaeda / Islamic State trio.

    Read from these links.

  11. GregT on Sat, 30th May 2015 11:26 pm 

    Start growing your own corn Ted, and get yourself a still. If nobody sees you driving around, you should be good to go for a few decades. Maybe…….

  12. shortonoil on Sun, 31st May 2015 8:04 am 

    If petroleum was taken out of the process stream of ethanol production, ethanol would be reduced back to its best use. Drinking it! Ethanol has far too low an energy content to act as a fuel. It will never be capable of powering this civilization. It just doesn’t have the molecular structure needed to accomplish the job. Ethanol was originally introduced to act as an oxidizing agent to help reduce air pollution. Washington then turned it into a political football to pull the votes of the corn states. It has improved the air quality, but has done zero to alleviate our energy dilemma. It is quit likely that it has made it worse.

  13. Kenz300 on Sun, 31st May 2015 8:14 am 

    No more WARS for OIL……….

    It is time to end the oil monopoly on transportation fuel.

    Bring on the electric, flex-fuel, ethanol, biofuel, biodiesel, CNG, LNG and hydrogen fueled vehicles.

    Better yet lets diversify our transportation choices by creating more safe walking and bicycle paths that connect homes, schools and businesses.
    Add to that more mass transit options. There once was a time when trolleys ran thru the center of many towns. That was before the auto lobby worked to eliminate the competition.

    The more we diversify our options the better.

    Big OIL hates ANY competition and is working to eliminate it.

  14. Davy on Sun, 31st May 2015 8:46 am 

    Short, I feel ethanol has a niche in the corn belt in conjunction with fossil fuels in the bumpy descent. Ethanol can be made a satisfactory liquid fuel extender in those areas where distances are small.

    Will this happen no but theoretically we will need salvage and hybrid approaches to descent especially where food is concerned. A huge ethanol infrastructure is in place and it should be utilized in a responsible way.

    I realize most tractors are diesel but there are other liquid fuel needs and more tractors could be converted to gas especially for the back to the land movement that must happen and won’t until it is too late and people are starving.

  15. Ted Wilson on Sun, 31st May 2015 10:35 am 

    There is plenty of land to grow Corn. After all when there is land to build highways, strip malls and golf courses, why not allocate small piece of land to Corn and Sugar Beet to produce Ethanol.

    With < 2% land area of USA, Bangladesh is able to make food for population for their population which is 50% of USA.

    So I repeat, there is no shortage of land and we can grow lot more Corn & Beets.

    As for the fuel used to make Ethanol, only 30% of the fuel used in Tractors & Trucks are Diesel (Petro-fuel), the other 70% is Electricity and Heat that comes from Coal & Natgas. In fact, many of the Ethanol plants are located closed to coal fired power plants and they use the waste heat from the plants in the fermentation process and this is 1 reason that allows them to get more yield.

    Think about it. The $60 / barrel oil price has forced many oil companies in the Shale play to shut down their rigs. But Ethanol is able to maintain their high output.

    Please read all news about Ethanol before posting. Feel free to post any questions.

  16. GregT on Sun, 31st May 2015 11:01 am 

    More Ethanol Equals More CO2

  17. farmlad on Sun, 31st May 2015 11:33 am 

    Ted The way that this corn is being raised has so many terrible, consequences so that, even you would need to admit to being a fool, if you would allow yourself to them into account.

    Row crop AG today is producing more eroded soil than grain. Which pollutes our waterways, causing these huge dead zones, Toxic algal blooms, etc.

    Where the organic matter levels in our native prairies were normally in the 7% to 12% range, commonly 5 foot deep or more. Today these same soils after being in row crops for less then a century are now down to between 1% and 2% soil organic matter. This has released a tremendous amount of carbon into the atmosphere and is now the single largest contributor to the CO2 in out atmosphere. Which is already costing us billions due to the effects of climate change.

    These Monoculture Ag practices are taking a terrible toll on other areas of our ecology as well, with the toxic chemicals in the pesticides, fertilizers, etc, which are polluting our ground water, decimating beneficial insects, which feed the birds, etc, and contaminating our own food.

    Now we have cancer, Autism, Alzheimer’s, celiac, (you name it) diseases growing at an exponential rate. and you can’t put two and two together.

    Using fossil fuels to grow corn, to produce fuel, and in the meantime raping our soils, and violating our atmosphere, has got to be one of the evilest things ever done.

  18. Davy on Sun, 31st May 2015 11:48 am 

    Sorry Ted, you message is a dud. The eroi of ethanol is well known. As soon as you ship the ethanol or the ethanol inputs any distance it is negative. It would have been better for society to use the corn or the fossil fuel inputs in other ways.

    Ted, have you ever raised corn? Have you ever delivered corn to an ethanol plant? I have so I know a little bit about these things. When I was raising corn and beans back around 2000 ethanol was just coming on the scene. I can tell you the economics for the farmer were not great back then. The economics only became decent once the subsidies and mandates started.

  19. Ted Wilson on Sun, 31st May 2015 12:15 pm 

    If you dont use Ethanol and instead use Gasoline, how much impact does the gas cause. Check how much damage is caused by the shale oil.

    In 1 shale play, they drilled 5,000 feet vertically and then 10,000 feet horizontally. How much rock is blasted and how much quake could this cause. The left over liquids when its mixed in the water bodies like lakes and rivers, how much harm does it cause to the plant life and the adjoining animal life.

    And now to the Oil sands. 1,000s of acres to forest land has to be razed before the mining of sands starts and lot of lighter hydrocarbons have to be mixed to convert that carbon rich material to lighter motor fuels. Is that any better.

    And how much Sulfur and Mercury is release into the air and water and how much damage does this cause. Is the Oil any better than Ethanol.

    We can agree that Electric vehicles are the best, but with the shorter range and higher price, they are still few more years away. For some one who has a non electric / plugin vehicle, they better consider Ethanol.

    As long as we send Petrodollars to those Arab States, we can see Islamic State and Al Qaeda causing more havoc.

    If you still feel that Corn is bad, then don’t any animal produce like Chicken or Pork or Beef since those animals eat corn for few months before being cut. Instead we can eat lot lesser Corn directly.

  20. GregT on Sun, 31st May 2015 12:40 pm 

    “We can agree that Electric vehicles are the best,”

    44% of all electric power generation in the US is from coal Ted, and 67% is from fossil fuels. Considering the fact that greenhouse gasses accumulate in the environment, and that some are believed to have a detrimental effect on climate for at least a thousand years, motorized transportation is a negative. No matter how you attempt to slice it.

  21. hiruitnguyse on Sun, 31st May 2015 12:43 pm 

    Here the looking glass of pride and ruined vanity:

  22. Ted Wilson on Sun, 31st May 2015 1:08 pm 

    Electric vehicles can run 3 times farther on a given amount of fuel.
    So even if you use Coal fired electricty which has 50% more pollution than Oil, your vehicle goes 200% more distance, so you still will reduce pollution by 50%.

    But only 36% of the power in USA is generated from Coal. And the remaining 64% from other sources. So electric vehicles are lot more cleaner.

    BTW what are you suggesting if we don’t use any type of fuel. Can we commute by biking if the distance is 10 miles.

  23. GregT on Sun, 31st May 2015 1:15 pm 

    I am suggesting Ted, that if we add enough CO2 into the environment, there won’t be anybody left to commute anywhere.

  24. Apneaman on Sun, 31st May 2015 1:49 pm 

    Greg, it’s already a done deal for most of us and possibly all. The feedback loops are piling up and they are unstoppable. IOW we are too late. The forces under way are practically incomprehensible for most humans; like those distances in space travel you have talked about. 280 ppm CO2 pre industrialization VS 400 ppm CO2 today does not sound like a lot. What’s 120 pmm CO2 in the big picture? It’s Everything – It’s the difference between a biologically productive planet that is supportive for humans, the one we evolved on, and one that favors microbial-dominated life. There is some lag time from our emissions to consequences and the pace is picking up.

    Medea hypothesis

    Dr. Peter Ward on Mass Extinction and Global Warming

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