Climate Change Forces Halt In Ethanol Production

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Awful Truth

Minneapolis, MN

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#1
Feb 11, 2013
 

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The droughts in the Midwest caused by Climate Change are taking their toll on corn production. The situation has now deteriorated to the point where corn-based ethanol production facilities have been halted due to lack of supply.


The persistent drought is taking a toll on producers of ethanol, with corn becoming so scarce that nearly two dozen ethanol plants have been forced to halt production.

The Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol industry trade group, provided data to The Associated Press showing that 20 of the nation’s 211 ethanol plants have ceased production over the past year, including five in January. Most remain open, with workers spending time performing maintenance-type tasks. But ethanol production won’t likely resume until after 2013 corn is harvested in late August or September.

Industry experts say as long as the recent droughts prove to be exceptional rather than typical then the ethanol production system can continue to function.


“There’s a lot of anxiety in the industry right now about the drought and a lot of folks watching the weather and hoping and praying this drought is going to break,” said Geoff Cooper, vice president for research and analysis for the Renewable Fuels Association.

“If we get back to a normal pattern and normal corn crop, then I think the industry is in good shape,” Cooper said.“But if this drought persists and it has the same effect on this coming corn crop, then we’ve got a problem.”

Of course droughts will persist if, as scientists in Iowa believe, the root cause is Climate Change which remains unaddressed. While ethanol’s energy use has always been controversial, the shortage of corn is indicative of larger food supply problems due to Climate Change. These threats to the food supply could become more pronounced and costly. For now it seems the agricultural industry is just hoping for a better year.

Since: Sep 11

Rogers, MN

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#2
Feb 11, 2013
 

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Fuel from corn is a classic example of corporate welfare. It takes more energy to convert the corn to alcohol than it produces and they can't make a profit without the federal subsidies. That's a more likely reason for plants shutting down than drought.

There are several other reasons that this ethanol production is a bad idea. Maybe too many to list here.
Seattle Slew have at it

Minneapolis, MN

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Feb 11, 2013
 

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Many "experts" said about ethanol from corn.

BAD IDEA to convert food to fuel.

Stupid idea actually.
Bridgework

Lincoln, NE

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Feb 11, 2013
 

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I am sure that is it and not because of the end of $6 billion in Ethanol subsidies last year.
Awful Truth

Minneapolis, MN

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Feb 11, 2013
 

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cantmakeitup wrote:
Fuel from corn is a classic example of corporate welfare. It takes more energy to convert the corn to alcohol than it produces and they can't make a profit without the federal subsidies.
Both of those are myths.

But why shouldn't they, oil and gasoline producers are subsidized. Why not spread some of those dollars among the corn belt farmers instead of paying for foreign oil and corporate profits?
Awful Truth

Minneapolis, MN

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Feb 11, 2013
 

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Seattle Slew have at it wrote:
Many "experts" said about ethanol from corn.
BAD IDEA to convert food to fuel.
Stupid idea actually.
Right. It is stupid to get our fuel from America instead of the middle east, right.

You are such an idiot, Schmahl.
goose

Minneapolis, MN

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#7
Feb 11, 2013
 
Awful Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
Right. It is stupid to get our fuel from America instead of the middle east, right.
You are such an idiot, Schmahl.
Yeah! Like the ability to get more oil (fuel) FROM America!
Amused Slew

Seattle, WA

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Feb 11, 2013
 

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Sure, steal it from future generations...right ?

Since: Sep 11

Rogers, MN

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Feb 11, 2013
 

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Awful Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
Right. It is stupid to get our fuel from America instead of the middle east, right.
You are such an idiot, Schmahl.
We can stop exporting crude to other countries and use it ourselves. Thereby getting more of our fuel from America. But it's currently easier and more profitable to use our food for fuel and export our oil. Stupid, but profitable.

And, compared to other methods of extracting ethanol, corn is about he least efficient in terms of the (1.5 to 1.6 more units of energy are derived from ethanol than are used to produce it.)net energy gain.

Opponents of corn ethanol production in the U.S. often quote the 2005 paper [5] of David Pimentel, a retired Entomologist, and Tadeusz Patzek, a Geological Engineer from UC Berkeley. Both have been exceptionally critical of ethanol and other biofuels. Their studies contend that ethanol, and biofuels in general, are "energy negative", meaning they take more energy to produce than is contained in the final product.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel_ene...

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