Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

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)

Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday August 25 2021, @10:51AM (2 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday August 25 2021, @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.

    🌻🌻 []
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +1  
       Informative=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Informative' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   3  
  • (Score: 3, Disagree) by ElizabethGreene on Wednesday August 25 2021, @02:35PM (1 child)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 25 2021, @02:35PM (#1170823) Journal

    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 2021, @03:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25 2021, @03:50PM (#1170847)

      Lets take a look at that data, shall we: []

      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.