Friday, February 13, 2009

Ethanol's Backers Get Gassed

Editorial - February 12th, 2009 - Investor's Business Daily

The many investors who were tripping all over themselves to finance biofuel plants last year are finding that going green can mean losing lots of green.

Congress had a grand plan: It would double corn ethanol use by 2015. And by 2022, 21 billion gallons of ethanol and biofuels would be made from formerly useless stuff, ranging from corn stubble to switchgrass to municipal waste.

But reality has hit like a ton of corn stalks. The inescapable facts are that corn prices remain at a market-set high, and converting the corn alternative cellulose into liquid fuel is prohibitively expensive.

And there are other problems. For one, corn ethanol gets worse mileage than gasoline. For another, ethanol's corrosiveness means it can't be shipped through regular pipelines like gasoline.

The 'chicken little' enviro-extremists have never understood how efficient the free enterprise market is. The basis for all of the 'green dreams' is wishful thinking. Of all the illusions about the problems with cheap fuels, the dumbest is the premise that when we run out of cheap energy we will be left with no energy. This is simply stupid. When cheap energy runs out, we will be left with all of the other choices of more expensive energy. However they will be cost effective then since there will not be a cheaper source of fuel to compete.

That is all that petroleum really has to offer. It is, overall, more cost effective and CLEANER than anything else available, FOR AS LONG AS IT LASTS. All the 'green' research in the world will not alter that simple fact. This annoys the 'world of green' since they don't want that to be true. Whenever people start off with a dislike for reality, it is unlikely that you will ever be able to get them to make intelligent choices. The idea of "I don't want this to be true" can easily lead to self delusion. However reality is what it is. If someone says that a tax break will make a bad energy choice a good energy choice, you can be sure they are not facing reality.

The ethanol situation is simply proving that reality always wins. Wishful thinking is never a successful strategy.


Post a Comment

<< Home