Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) likes adding ethanol to gasoline. I believe any thinking person would realize that there are some points in favor of doing so and some points against. I won’t get into the argument today.
Nonetheless, the EPA released its final ruling on the blend volumes of renewable fuels that must be added to gasoline for the calendar years 2015 and 2016. In essence, the law says that blending of biofuels with gasoline must be done. But those industries face a significant challenge in meeting the laws requirements. There are not remotely sufficient amounts of advanced biofuels to meet obligated minimum levels.
How does that work? The Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) provisions require non-food based cellulosic biofuels to be increasingly introduced into commercial gasoline. Called “2nd generation,” cellulosic ethanol, unlike 1st generation corn-ethanol, is derived from wood chips, grasses, corn cobs and other biological material. The problem is the congressionally mandated product is simply nonexistent.
[Source: Beneficiary of billion dollar green fuels program files for creditor protection, by Belinda Silva]
Industry experts predicted that this would be a very challenging endeavor before it began. But that does not stop central planners and altruists. Their belief in the “righteousness” of their plans is unassailable. Unfortunately, billions of dollars into this boondoggle we have done nothing more than successfully proven cellulosic ethanol is not a practical endeavor.
There are only four such “2nd generation,” cellulosic ethanol plants trying to produce the substance. Now we flip the coin and the American taxpayer losses again.
[From the Silva article] One of (the) cellulosic ethanol production plants set to shutter its doors. Abengoa, a Spain-based sustainable energy development company, has filed for creditor protection… After the U.S. taxpayers invested billions of dollars towards the building of a massive biofuel facility, not to mention the world’s largest solar farm, and wind farms, the company is teetering like a giant, green energy Jenga tower.
Abengoa is an international, mega-corporation… Its near certain investment losses to taxpayers’ dwarfs those of the Solyndra fiasco. Aside from perks and discounts for federal land use, employment credits and special tax incentives a quick search discloses only some of the federal dollars pumped into Abengoa and yet we still have no 2nd stage biofuels to meet program goals.
- $1.45 billion loan guarantee to Abengoa Solar, Inc. for construction and the start-up of solar energy plant in Solana, AZ — 2010
- $1.2 billion loan guarantee to Mohave Solar, LLC. For the construction & start-up of Mohave Solar Project plant in San Bernardino County, CA. — 2011
- $133.9 million loan guarantee for biofuel plant Hugoton, KS — Department of Energy – 2011
- $97 million federal grant, Hugoton, KS — Department of Energy — 2011
- $4.03 million in grants and federal contracts for 2015 alone
Dear readers, I do not know whether or not you favor biofuels or reject them. But, no rational human being can think that our Green President has mounted a sane approach to the implementation of the project. This is nuts, as they say!