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posted by janrinok on Tuesday August 24 2021, @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: 3, Interesting) by ElizabethGreene on Tuesday August 24 2021, @07:01PM (2 children)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Tuesday August 24 2021, @07:01PM (#1170463) Journal

    Middle/Tennessee/USA - The local Speedway gas station chain has this issue as well. To me "raise your prices to reduce demand" seems like a pretty obvious solution, but they haven't done that. They prefer to hang out of service flags on the pumps instead. My guess is this is because the higher price on the sign would hurt the in-store Food/Beverage/Nicotine sales where they make profit.

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  • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Wednesday August 25 2021, @04:30AM (1 child)

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Wednesday August 25 2021, @04:30AM (#1170667)

    if the stations raised prices people would complain loudly enough to their congress critters that they might actually do something to save their jobs.

    Remember how the last time gas proces went this high? I think it was after Katrina. Gas in the San Fransico Bay Area hit US$4.50/gl and suddenly congress was talking about committees to investigate the prices.

    Even if it was all just for show it makes people start thinking about all sorts of alternatives. The last thing the oil companies want is for the pot to be stirred.

    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
    • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Wednesday August 25 2021, @02:03PM

      by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Wednesday August 25 2021, @02:03PM (#1170815) Journal

      <opinion>A large portion of congress, but probably not a full majority, wants to see gasoline significantly more expensive to drive purchases of EVs and fuel efficient vehicles.

      Like 'cash for clunkers' this hurts people with low incomes. That should be blatantly obvious, but for some reason it gets ignored. I assume that is ignorance and not malice.</opinion>