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posted by janrinok on Tuesday August 24, @04:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the its-corn-its-good dept.

The author of this piece has an obvious bias (Geoff Cooper is the president and CEO of Renewable Fuels Association), but does he also have a valid point?

Let's prioritize American renewable fuels over foreign oil and minerals:

After suffering through more than a year of quarantines, stay-at-home orders, and travel lockdowns, millions of Americans have eagerly returned to the nation's highways this summer for long-awaited vacations and road trips. As a result, gasoline demand has surged to record highs and pump prices are at levels not seen since 2014.

In recent weeks, regular-grade gas prices averaged $3.17 per gallon, up almost 50 percent from the same time last year. With higher fuel prices threatening to undermine the nation's ongoing economic recovery, it's easy to see why the Biden administration is looking for ways to ease America's pain at the pump.

[...] Before the Biden administration looks to OPEC+ countries or mineral-rich nations like Afghanistan, China and Bolivia for help, it has an opportunity to turn to America's heartland for a homegrown solution. Renewable fuels like ethanol have a 40-year proven track record of success in helping to lower prices at the pump while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions, supporting good-paying clean energy jobs and curtailing crude oil imports.

Four decades' worth of investment and innovation by ethanol producers has resulted in real breakthroughs in lower-carbon transportation fuels. Today's corn-based ethanol reduces carbon emissions by 52 percent when compared directly to gasoline, according to a recent study from the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory. Another study by scientists from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Tufts University similarly shows corn ethanol achieves an average carbon reduction of 46 percent compared to gasoline, with some ethanol in the market today achieving a 61 percent carbon reduction.

[...] Before we turn to the Persian Gulf for answers to our nation's energy and climate challenges, let's give the American heartland a shot. The solution to high pump prices and decarbonization lies in the farm fields of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and other Midwest states — not in the oil fields of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle East nations.

Journal Reference:
Uisung Lee, Hoyoung Kwon, May Wu, et al. Retrospective analysis of the U.S. corn ethanol industry for 2005–2019: implications for greenhouse gas emission reductions [open], Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining (DOI: 10.1002/bbb.2225)


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  • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Tuesday August 24, @06:56PM (13 children)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Tuesday August 24, @06:56PM (#1170461)

    In recent weeks, regular-grade gas prices averaged $3.17 per gallon, up almost 50 percent from the same time last year.

    At least there are no more mean tweets, right?

    Starting Score:    1  point
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @07:08PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @07:08PM (#1170466)

    Trump was single-handedly depressing gas prices with the power of his tweet.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @07:12PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @07:12PM (#1170469)

      Enjiy the above comment and other delusions brought to you by the Party of No Responsibility.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @07:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @07:48PM (#1170485)

        If people fall for a conman, that's their problem. Fuck 'em twice.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 24, @08:32PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 24, @08:32PM (#1170499)

      Trump was single-handedly holding back the whole world economy with his unpredictability - evidence? What happened after he lost?

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @08:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @08:38PM (#1170504)

        Bb..ut he made America grate and saved Western civilization (thanks for that by the way).

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 24, @08:30PM (7 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 24, @08:30PM (#1170497)

    Because mean tweets keep gas prices low?

    I think everybody has missed the point of using foreign oil: we trade imaginary money for real oil, we pump all the oil out of THEIR ground while keeping it in OURS. Then, when imaginary money isn't worth anything anymore, we still have oil.

    --
    John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @09:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @09:43PM (#1170521)

      > we trade imaginary money ...

      That imaginary money sure buys a lot of Rolls-Royces and Lamborghinis (etc). And the random hired killer here and there too.

    • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Wednesday August 25, @03:48AM (3 children)

      by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Wednesday August 25, @03:48AM (#1170647)

      No, not at all. Mean tweets don't effect gas prices. Cancelling drilling leases in ANWR and off the Louisiana coast, a moratorium on oil and gas leases in federal land and waters, and cancellation of major pipeline projects do effect oil and by proxy gas prices.

      So there's that.

      It's not like that's a shock. Decarbonizing American energy was something he ran on. Did people think that was going to be free?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday August 25, @10:51AM (2 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday August 25, @10:51AM (#1170762)

        I believe you are drastically overestimating the impact of domestic production project cancellations on short term pump price swings. How did gas prices fall in 2020? It wasn't producer side cost reduction, it was a drop in consumer side demand.

        Those domestic production projects that were cancelled were relatively high cost sources. It's not as if we just locked up a giant tank of free gasoline.

        --
        John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
        • (Score: 3, Disagree) by ElizabethGreene on Wednesday August 25, @02:35PM (1 child)

          by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Wednesday August 25, @02:35PM (#1170823)

          I believe you are drastically overestimating the impact of domestic production project cancellations on short term pump price swings.

          I have is anecdotal evidence to support my opinion. There was a similar moratorium on exploration and lease sales after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010). Eight months later gas prices broke $3 and didn't dip below it until just before the mid-term elections in 2014. Correlation is not causation means we'd have to run the experiment a bunch more times to get a reasonable confidence level, but it's a notable coincidence.

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, @03:50PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, @03:50PM (#1170847)

            Lets take a look at that data, shall we:

            https://www.statista.com/statistics/204740/retail-price-of-gasoline-in-the-united-states-since-1990/ [statista.com]

            That jump in 2010 looks to me very much like it is a "return to normal" after the crash of 2008, note that there is a similar dip in 2020 for the covid crash, so it stands to reason that the current jump in prices is a similar "return to normal."

            The only major drop in gas prices that didn't have an accompanying crash seems to be from 2014 to 2016, but I will bet that FOX news has answers as to why the price bounced in 2016.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday August 25, @03:56AM (1 child)

      by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday August 25, @03:56AM (#1170651)

      I think everybody has missed the point of using foreign oil: we trade imaginary money for real oil, we pump all the oil out of THEIR ground while keeping it in OURS.

      Except we're doing nothing of the sort. Instead, they're pumping all their oil out of their ground while we're pumping all available oil out of our ground too as quickly as possible, because the oil industry knows that climate change will eventually lead to policy changes that render whatever oil is still in the ground completely worthless. It's a race against the public waking up to the fact that their industry could very easily be doing a lot more damage than is already obvious.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday August 25, @10:54AM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday August 25, @10:54AM (#1170764)

        Insightful, but decades late. The climate change oil rush has been driving lobbyist funding since the 1970s. Don't you remember how Al Gore discovered global warming in college, before he built the internet?

        --
        John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].