They call it black gold and Texas Tea but I prefer to call it environmental anathema; that rare combination of disgrace and abomination. Better that than using the words that I would like to use that got my mouth washed out with soap as a child.
Ok, Thanksgiving is almost upon us so I want to purge a little bile so I will enjoy the day a little more. What better target than Big Oil?
You know, those heavily subsidized global scale polluters who control…I mean contribute to every politician to make sure they have their bases covered. Well after an announcement today, I guess we will see how well their “investment” pays off.
It seems gas and oil are almost singlehandedly responsible for the bulk of all the man-made global warming emissions since the dawn of the industrial revolution. Chevron, Exxon and BP are among the companies most responsible for climate change since dawn of industrial age, according to a new analysis.
The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.
I have always been a big fan of irony but this week takes the cake. It seemed bizarre that earlier this week EPA announced their proposal to significantly weaken the Renewable Fuel Standard, reducing the volume of renewable fuels like ethanol for 2014; thus making us even more dependent on oil.
Odd that an agency with “Environment” in their name would turn away from a program that has cut emissions of greenhouse gas by 110 million metric tons, making it one of the most successful programs in the EPA arsenal. This is the equivalent of taking more than 20 million vehicles off the road.
Now it will get even more interesting to see how this same administration that purports to be on a crusade to fight greenhouse gases will deal with Big Oil now that the emperor has no clothes.
Ethanol isn’t poison and gasoline is. There….I have said it. It boggles my mind how much of the public buys into the oil industry propaganda related to ethanol, most notably some of the environmental community. Why someone who considers themselves an environmentalist would listen to big oil on energy topics and what is best for consumers leaves me perplexed. Even on a good day when gasoline isn’t $3 to $4 a gallon, it remains a really bad idea when it comes to our health and the environment.
Ethanol is ethanol. There are no additives and it is the same product chemically that some drink in the form of martinis and other cocktails. Drink ethanol and you just think you are better looking and funnier. Drink gasoline and you get dead. Gasoline has terrible environmental risk and repercussions and they are getting worse as we find new ways to dig, steam, and frack to get it out of the ground and the ocean bottom.
However, that is just the beginning of making commercial gasoline. Gasoline starts out as poison and it only gets better as dozens of chemicals can get mixed into the product. They get mixed in to make gas burn better during different seasons, to add octane, and even as a way for the oil industry to charge you for some byproducts of gasoline manufacturing that they otherwise would have to dispose of as toxic waste.
To this day one of my favorite news cartoons of all time showed the Exxon Valdez oil spill with petroleum covered wildlife effected by the disaster. The next panel showed an ethanol spill and featured google-eyed sea otters, dolphin and fish who apparently had been to happy hour.
I am a typical blogger. I have lots of opinions and I like words. But in this case I think I will show good judgement and just shut up and let the accompanying image tell the rest of the story. Take my word for it that many of these chemicals are even worse for your personal health and our future than they sound.
In 36 years of being directly involved in agriculture and the issues that make it so…interesting, frustrating, rewarding, and painful…I have only seen one positive story written about the issues effecting the profession, especially ethanol, in the Chicago Tribune. I remain convinced to this day that it was a mistake that slipped by editors and that the cub reporter responsible is driving a cab in the Loop and speaking in tongues.
I think it is ok to say this Windy City pub never met a farm policy or ethanol issue they didn’t like to bash, facts aside. Apparently farmers are immune to the whims of business considerations like making enough to pay the bills and plant another crop. Why else would the Trib opine that farmers are getting more for their corn after a 25 year economic drought that saw farmers getting $2 to $2.50 a bushel regardless of real world cost or demand? (Let alone make such comments in the wake of prices just dropping 40 percent).
So, following their direction, I guess all of you farmers can get off your combines and retire. Apparently you have spent your entire life, not to mention several generations, involved in the most under appreciated hobby in history. No more production of food, feed, or fiber. No more ethanol fuel because we are just going to continue to depend on prickly and dangerous oil producing nations for their finite black gold.
On a more serious note, I think the Tribune needs to be called on the carpet for the sham they have been selling to the public for years that they have a pro-business/pro-jobs position.
Despite dozens of third party experts bringing them information backed by science that exposes the errors in their thinking the Trib, especially its editorial writers, remain steadfast in their spewing of misinformation and loathing of ethanol despite its emergence as a critical economic engine in much of the U.S. Are these folks not suspicious or troubled at all by the millions of dollars being spent by the petroleum industry in recent years to damage the reputation of ethanol. One of the tenants of good journalism is to follow the money in trying to understand societal issues. Clearly Goliath is trying to squash David and somebody should be asking why.
Here are a few of the factual perversions in their latest diatribe:
Farmers are not planting as much corn as possible. In fact we are 20 million acres shy of planting the acres we did in the 1920s.
The Trib notes we use 40% of the corn crop to make ethanol. Actually we use the equivalent of only 27% of the crop because only the starch from the corn kernel is used to make ethanol. The protein for livestock feed is concentrated, easier to transport and a high value product.
Blaming corn for higher meat prices is also off base. Declining domestic meat consumption and the outrageous cost of transportation of all food products to market – thank you big oil – has something to do with that.
Plant diseases and pests are nothing new. Farmers deal with them all the time and do so very well thank you. Goss’s wilt that you reference touches only 10% of the corn crop, and is far from being devastating, unless of course you fall in the 10%.
And did you actually criticize crop insurance in one breath while also intimating we should take away a farmer’s ability to choose what to plant? That will make the kids want to return to the farm business.
The incredible reliability and performance of ethanol has been proven once again. As part of its NASCAR Green ™ campaign, NASCAR™ announced that its drivers have now logged so many miles using Sunoco GreenE15™ that it would be the equivalent of driving around the world 160 times.
While NASCAR adopted the 15 percent ethanol blend as the official fuel of every car in every race because it decreases harmful greenhouse gas emissions, American Ethanol has demonstrated that it can perform. After more than two years and 160 trips around the world, the world’s best drivers and their pit crews rely on E15 for the horsepower they need and the continual performance their sport demands.
Learn more about what NASCAR and its partners, including American Ethanol, are doing to make a greener tomorrow by clicking here.
In honor of Earth Day, NASCAR rolled out a new TV spot Sunday designed to show how they are being eco-friendly – and ethanol is front and center.
The NASCAR RACE TO GREEN™ spot features Roush Fenway driver Greg Biffle, currently ranked third in the Nascar Sprint Cup standings.
“So, wanna be eco-friendly?” the announcer asks Biffle, who answers “Of course.”
ANNCR: “Ok, got corn?”
BIFFLE: “We got that.”
ANNCR: “Got some of it blended into fuel?”
BIFFLE: “Got it.”
ANNCR: “Got a car to use that fuel?”
BIFFLE: “Sure do.”
Watch it here:
The NASCAR campaign also features a tree-planting initiative, and American Ethanol is part of that effort, pledging to plant a tree for every mile raced in April. With almost 4,000 miles fuels by Sunoco Green E15 over the month, the 4,000 trees planted will be enough to offset the carbon emissions of all the miles driven on American-made ethanol in practices and qualifying laps.
“American Ethanol shares the commitment of NASCAR to operate sustainably and do our part to protect and preserve the environment,” said National Corn Growers Association board member Jon Holzfaster of Nebraska. “Farmers manage their farms every day with the tandem goals of making a profit but doing it in a way that is better for the environment. So we are proud to expand our commitment to NASCAR Green.”
In an era of compartmentalized media, USA Today holds a unique position. A truly national newspaper with circulation only surpassed by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today reaches Americans across the country every day with bright graphics and its bold layout.
This Friday, American Ethanol and NASCAR celebrated hitting the three million mile mark in a very public way running a full-page announcement on the back cover of the popular daily’s Sports section. Drawing readers in with a visually arresting image showing the American Ethanol flag flying high over the pulse pounding racetrack action, the spread also provided exciting information about what switching to a 15 percent ethanol fuel blend has done for the sport and could do for American drivers off track too.
For two years, every vehicle in every NASCAR race has raced toward victory with E15 in the tank. Through the American Ethanol and NASCAR partnership, the nation’s top drivers, whether they race in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide or Camping World Trucks series, have trusted their tanks to this sustainable, renewable biofuel blend.
What have they found?
Running on a 15 percent ethanol blend has not only reduced their emissions by 20 percent, it has actually increased their horsepower. Ethanol provides the performance NASCAR drivers demand and fuels the pulse quickening action that keeps fans on the edge of their seats.
American Ethanol and NASCAR want to share the great news and celebrate this achievement with NASCAR fans and environmentalists alike. Whether reading USA Today in a hotel lobby or at the end of a driveway, sports fans across the country are joining in the celebration of America’s homegrown sport’s successes running on its homegrown fuel.
In the ongoing slander campaign aimed at ethanol, the biofuel’s belligerent detractors have one less credible claim as U.S. auto manufacturers Ford and General Motors, Inc. will accept use of E15 in newer vehicles. Negating the claim that higher ethanol blends would void manufacturer warranties, this important decision shows that American car makers believe in the American made fuel.
The move toward accepting higher ethanol blends goes beyond assuaging any warranty concerns for owners of new Ford or GM vehicles though. By accepting E15, these industry-leaders set a precedent. Now, instead of simply claiming anti-ethanol policies follow industry standards, other auto manufacturers must explain their reluctance.
Whether the corporate culture fosters an adversity toward change or their board views ethanol as a reliable scapegoat, the refusal to accept E15 puts a car maker behind the curve. Notably, with E15 fueling NASCAR Toyotas to victory every week, it is time for the ethanol-eschewing suits dictating the company’s policies to catch up to the American innovators leading this pack.
Whether E15 fuels high performance races at NASCAR or trips to market in the family SUV, it helping more Americans reach their destinations daily in a more environmentally-friendly, affordable way. American farmers, car manufacturers and consumers stand together, and they stand firmly behind E15. More than ever, ethanol fuels our economy, our communities and our future.
Before the race, Dillon came around to the Illinois Family Farmers exhibit in Champions Park outside the track and climbed up on the bed of a flex fuel Chevy Avalanche pick up to make some remarks about the race and then sign some autographs.
“It’s great when we come to these Midwestern tracks where all this corn’s been brewed mostly,” he said during a quick interview. “I’m really excited about our chances to win today. It’s really cool if we can get American ethanol’s name out there and just let everybody know that there’s a clean alternative fuel out there.”
He was glad to see the corn growers having a good time and happy to show everybody “that we can go fast on ethanol.”
American Ethanol was featured on the national stage again for NASCAR racing action at Chicagoland Speedway.
Illinois corn farmer Donna Jeschke got to wave the green flag for the American Ethanol 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Donna is near the end of her term on the board of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.
She found the experience to be exciting and just a little scary. She says this type of promotion puts what she does as a farmer out in front of the public to help them better understand where their food comes from.
In addition to the American Ethanol 225 NASCAR also held the Nationwide Series STP 300 on Sunday. You can find lots of photos from the weekend’s activities in my photo album. Link is below
The announcements were made at the NASCAR Preview 2012 event over the weekend in Charlotte, N.C. First of all, American Ethanol announced that it will continue relationships with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and RAB Racing for the 2012 season. Pictured here are the American Ethanol drivers for the teams. Kenny Wallace (left) will drive the No. 09 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for RAB Racing. Austin Dillon, 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, will drive the No. 3 Chevrolet during the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season for RCR.
That No. 3 Chevrolet is the same one that carried Dale Earnhardt Jr. to four NASCAR Nationwide series championships and it will feature a new American Ethanol paint scheme that was unveiled during the preview event. American Ethanol will serve as the primary sponsor for six Nationwide series races as well as one race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012.
Both drivers are excited about being able to represent homegrown fuel in the NASCAR races. “I’m proud to carry the American Ethanol colors in NASCAR,” said Dillon, who is one of team owner Richard Childress’ grandsons. “I am looking forward to representing American Ethanol, Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association.”
American Ethanol was established by National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and Growth Energy with NASCAR starting with the 2011 racing season, the same year that NASCAR switched its fuel to Sunoco Green E15. “American Ethanol is getting a lot of positive attention because it’s a good fit for NASCAR’s green initiative, and because of the increased horsepower on the track,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer. “Our partnership with RCR and RAB Racing will assure continued success in letting the American public know that if ethanol can stand the stress these drivers put it through, it’s good for the family car, too.” Niemeyer says that research for the first year of American Ethanol found an amazing 71% acceptance rate for ethanol within NASCAR’s 75 million fans.
American Ethanol is looking forward to another big year with NASCAR!