Why Are We Still Burning Corn In Our Cars?

The price of oil futures fell to negative territory last week and remains anemic at around $17 per barrel today. We have such an oil glut that there is no place to put it any more.

Thanks to fracking, new oil exploration in other parts of the world, and OPEC’s erectile dysfunction, oil is no longer a scarce, expensive energy source. The world has enough oil to last for centuries.

Still, we have farmers planting, growing, and harvesting corn so we can add 10% ethanol to our gasoline. We turn our auto factories upside down and add thousands of dollars to the price of each car and truck to meet stricter EPA minimum gas mileage targets. We subsidize alternative “renewable” energy sources and devices despite having essentially solved carbon-based pollution.

Short-term, the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down the demand for oil. But that is temporary and doesn’t address the bigger issue. Let’s face it, oil is and will continue to be the best energy solution on earth for a long time to come.

So how does it make any sense to suppress the production and use of oil as an energy source? Two answers, the same ones that can be applied to every seemingly irrational political and cultural issue: money, and power.

Our kids still come home from school (when it is actually open) in tears from dire predictions about their world being destroyed by evil, smoke-belching big businesses and mom’s gas-guzzling SUV. Never mind that those end-of-the-world predictions never seems to come true.

Leftist politicians just can’t let go of the “global warming” hoax and the power it gives them over a frightened populace. They know their bubble could burst at any second. They have no choice but to continue promoting subsidies for windmills, solar panels, electric cars and so many other technologies that will NEVER be comparable to the common-sense fuel that God designed and made plentiful for our use: oil.

But back to corn. This week farm lobbyists are asking Congress and the Trump administration for billions of dollars in Coronavirus aid. Some of the request may be legitimate, as the ag sector has been harmed by government decisions such as the COVID-19 shutdown and foreign trade negotiations. But part of their justification is that demand for corn continues to fall because demand for gasoline is down.

Instead of letting the free market determine how our acres of productive land are used, such as growing the foods needed for people and livestock, we are actually considering paying farmers because they have to plant corn which is no longer needed in light of low demand for gasoline. What the hell kind of logic is that?

Let’s tell our leaders that it’s time to end the ethanol requirement, and subsidies that prop up dumb alternative energy industries and the corruption that inevitably goes with them.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ on the Right Side

Mobil station where I stand
This old gas pump in my hand
My boss don’t like me, got a face like a weasel
Oil on my hands and the smell of diesel

Fill Her Up – Sting

Are The Three Stooges Running Our Energy Policy?

Gas is down to $1.65 a gallon here in South Carolina, and dropping.

It seems like only yesterday we feared industrial nations would need more oil than could be produced, and that we might even run out of oil.  The price of oil spiked upward, motivating scientists and entrepreneurs to search for new sources and methods for meeting the world’s growing need for affordable energy.

rusty-wind-turbinePressed by our federal government, and rewarded with huge taxpayer-funded subsidies, domestic energy providers tried wind power, but that was a bust.  It quickly became evident that windmill farms are horribly inefficient, difficult and expensive to maintain, and damaging to birds.  Not to mention they are an eyesore.  Now thousands of rusting, inoperative windmills blot the American landscape, and the ones that still work require ongoing federal cash infusions.

Solar power didn’t work either.  The cost per unit of power produced was even worse than wind, requiring financial support from taxpayers to bring it to market.  Solar panels take up too much real estate, are subject to weather, and could only provide a small part of our electrical needs even in the best of circumstances.  In the scramble for easy government money, corruption in the solar power industry was rampant.

The government even forced us to add ethanol to gasoline, despite estimates by scientists that corn ethanol production uses six times more energy than it produces.  The push toward ethanol threw a monkey wrench into the agricultural industry.

But while the federal government (like always) failed miserably to solve the problem, the free market (like always) came through with flying colors, finding a way to affordably meet our current and future energy demands.  Guess what?   It’s still oil and natural gas.  Thanks to new high-tech methods of finding and tapping oil and natural gas reserves with a small and ecologically benign footprint, we now have an overabundance of available energy.

So now we can get rid of the expensive, corrupt, and unproductive taxpayer subsidies for solar power, wind generators, electric cars and ethanol plants, right?

Sigh.

Today our congressmen and women are voting on yet another bloated omnibus spending bill which includes:

  • a five-year extension of the solar investment tax credit (ITC)
  • a five-year extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC)
  • an increased allocation to the Department of Energy, most of which gets used for subsidies and contracts to politically-connected cronies
  • a three-year extension of the land and water conservation fund (LWCF), which will result in even more government ownership of resource-rich land

The uber-rich will still get $7500 from taxpayers for each $100,000 Tesla electric car they buy.  The owner of Tesla will rake in millions more in subsidies.  Meanwhile your own ten-year old Chevy will die prematurely from burning 10% ethanol while the prohibitive price of The-Three-Stooges-1beef erases steaks and roasts from your grocery list.  And the pure gas you buy for your boat, which can’t use ethanol, costs 70 cents per gallon more than the stuff with ethanol added.  Huh?
I think I know who is in charge of our energy policy.  Larry, Curly, and Moe.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Hey Moe!  Hey Moe!
Well, nyuck nyuck nyuck nyuck!
La da dee, la da dee!
Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo!

The Curly Shuffle – Jump N’ the Saddle Band