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10 Jul, 2008 10:28 am
A kick out of this story from the newest issue of Subsidy Watch: New research from Missouri refutes allegations that ethanol mandates save money...
The MCMA arrived at these numbers by taking the price difference between pure-grade gasoline and E-10 blended fuel, and multiplying it by Missouri’s projected annual consumption. However, the report by the Show Me Institute reveals two fundamental flaws with this calculation. One is that it fails to take into account the fact that E-10 blended fuel is cheaper because ethanol producers receive tax credits and other subsidies. “Government officials cannot simply take tax dollars from the public, give those tax dollars to ethanol blenders, and then have ethanol supporters tell the public that ethanol is saving them money with cheaper fuel as though the subsidy never existed,” write the report’s authors, Justin P. Hauke and David Stokes.
The MCMA also does not take into account that E-10 blended fuel is about 2.5% less efficient than pure-grade gasoline, meaning that Missourians will be filling their tanks more often. When both of these factors are taken into account, the ethanol blending mandates are shown to be costing Missourians about US$ 118 million per year. “Although Missourians may pay nominally less for gasoline at the pump after the E-10 mandate, these savings will not reflect the actual cost Missourians would pay in complying with new ethanol fuel standards,” write the authors. “Ethanol subsidies are not free money — they are simply a wealth transfer from one taxpayer to another.”
The full report, “The Economic Impact of the Missouri E-10 Ethanol Mandate”, is available on-line by clicking here.
You hear these kinds of stories all the time. The corn/ethanol lobby wants credit for gasoline not keeping up with escalating oil prices (claiming it is ethanol that is keeping gasoline prices from keeping pace, but ignoring of course the fact that gasoline demand is softening due to the high price). They do not, however, want anything to do with claims that they have had an impact on food prices.
So they won't be happy about this: Biofuels behind food price hikes: leaked World Bank report : LONDON (AFP) - "Biofuels have caused world food prices to increase by 75 percent, according to the findings of an unpublished World Bank report published in The Guardian newspaper on Friday."
The daily said the report was finished in April but was not published to avoid embarrassing the US government, which has claimed plant-derived fuels have pushed up prices by only three percent. The report's author, a senior World Bank economist, assessed that contrary to claims by US President George W. Bush, increased demand from India and China has not been the cause of rising food prices.
"The report estimates that higher energy and fertiliser prices accounted for an increase of only 15 percent, while biofuels have been responsible for a 75 percent jump over that period."
Expect the RFA to mobilize for a response in 3, 2, 1....
Originally published on: R-Squared Energy Blog
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Otherwise, it would imply that biofuel production is responsible for a 75% rise in food prices, which is ridiculous. I would think that the rise in petroleum prices due to the advent of "peak oil" has a lot more to do with the increase in food price than biofuel production.
To say that increased demand from India and China has "no effect" on the rise in food prices is equally ridiculous. Of course, they have every right to increase importation based on the relatively low nutritive intake of their populations.
The above having been said, I would agree that use of hydrocarbons for private transportation (mainly by the rich and well-fed) is an abomination, and that it should be ended forthwith.