Monday, October 16, 2006


Submit a schematic of a perpetual motion machine to the Patent and Trademark Office, and they'll reject it. Start a Ponzi scheme, and you'll probably wind up in jail. Call for dramatic increases in ethanol production, and you're a world-healing visionary.

Engineer-Poet explains (again) why ethanol is a fraud, and ends with this devastating observation:

There are benefits from it, but those benefits aren't for you.
The pollution, however, is yours, mine, and ours:
As President Bush promotes ethanol as a green alternative to gasoline, his administration is quietly relaxing environmental rules for dozens of new corn-to-fuel refineries sprouting up across the nation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning to change the way ethanol plants are treated under the Clean Air Act, a move critics say could make it easier for the burgeoning industry to evade controls that dramatically reduce toxic air pollution.
This will be a godsend for ADM, a heavily polluting company whose capacious pockets are the final resting-place of most of the taxpayer dollars that subsidize ethanol production.

The Wall Street Journal notes that "private-equity firms and hedge funds see enormous opportunities" in ethanol. No doubt. And if we legalized three-card monte, there'd be enormous opportunities in that, least until the public realized through bitter experience that this was a game they couldn't win.


Nanette said...

This is not well known enough. Okay, well maybe it's just me that didn't know about it ;).

I know about ethanol of course and all that... vaguely, but it's always seemed like a good idea, the way it is presented on newscasts and such. I'd not really investigated beyond that, although it's possible that I would have eventually.

It's interesting though... I read your piece early this morning, and later in the morning as I was passing through the living room where my mom was watching TV, I caught part of a report on some new ethanol plant they either are seeking to build or have just gotten permission to build, in CA... the guy was touting all the benefits, and the reporters didn't question him (or them) at all.

I still don't know much beyond what you've written here, of course, but after reading this I was able to view the report with a skeptical eye, so thanks for that ;).

Nanette said...

It's also amazing, the number of evil things people think up to do with corn.

Phila said...


It's also amazing, the number of evil things people think up to do with corn.

Sure. Creamed corn springs to mind...

Re: ethanol, more info here and .

Nanette said...

Thanks for the links - time to expand my knowledge a bit ;).

Sure. Creamed corn springs to mind...