American biofuel policy increases hardship on the Guatemalan poor, and you help every time you buy gasoline

Michael Giberson Next time you see one of those “This product may contain up to 10 percent ethanol” stickers on a gas pump, ask yourself why federal government biofuel policies are forcing you to help increase hunger and hardship among poor Guatemalans. Sure, politicians in their comfortable offices in Washington, DC, didn’t intend to help… More American biofuel policy increases hardship on the Guatemalan poor, and you help every time you buy gasoline

EPA fines companies for not doing the impossible

Michael Giberson If you read Jonathan Adler’s post at the Volokh Conspiracy (and reposted at PERC’s Percolator blog), it makes the EPA seem a little silly for insisting on fining companies when it would be impossible for companies to comply with the law. But don’t blame the EPA, which is just implementing a law that Congress passed and… More EPA fines companies for not doing the impossible

Loss of ethanol subsidy boosts gasoline prices a little, E85 prices a lot

Michael Giberson The basic math is pretty simple: most gasoline in the U.S. has about 10 percent ethanol, so the the 45 cents/gallon VEETC subsidy reduced the price of gasoline about 4.5 cents. The subsidy expired at the end of 2011, so one reason gasoline prices have gone up a few cents since New Year’s… More Loss of ethanol subsidy boosts gasoline prices a little, E85 prices a lot

Claims by lobbyists that deserve to be laughed at

Michael Giberson Sometimes politicians and lobbyists make claims that deserve to be laughed at in the most public way possible. Here is an example from the ethanol lobby, via The Hill‘s Congress Blog: US ethanol makes history by sacrificing a subsidy By Bob Dinneen, president and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association – 01/05/12 11:26 AM ET… More Claims by lobbyists that deserve to be laughed at

Ethanol industry allows its politicians to permit expiration of its tax credit and tariff

Michael Giberson The Des Moines Register has one version of the story – the agribusiness industry decided it could do without the subsidy since the renewable fuels mandate seemed securely in place: So established is corn-fed ethanol that the industry allowed the expiration of the 45 cents-per-gallon tax credit for ethanol production, as well as the… More Ethanol industry allows its politicians to permit expiration of its tax credit and tariff

National Research Council committee on the Renewable Fuel Standard: costly program of uncertain benefits

Michael Giberson Congress asked the National Research Council to evaluate the economics and environmental effects of the advanced biofuels mandate in the Renewable Fuels Standard (“RFS2”). The result? It isn’t pretty: barring unforeseen technological advances that dramatically reduce costs or oil prices consistently in the neighborhood of $190 a barrel or higher, RFS2 just doesn’t… More National Research Council committee on the Renewable Fuel Standard: costly program of uncertain benefits