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Gasoline Whores File Frivolous Lawsuit in Attempt to Derail American Energy Independence - REDUX

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Example of how the oil/gasoline industry lights up our lives

It's not enough that oil and gasoline prices are skyrocketing again; the Axis of Oil wants more!

EDITOR'S NOTE: This editorial was originally published on Nov. 9, 2010. This coming Thursday - May 2, 2013 - the editorial's author will be appearing before a Congressional Staff Briefing in Washington, DC in support of American energy independence and the domestic production of ethanol

By Marc J. Rauch
Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher

   • SEE ALSO: Why this issue is so important to The Auto Channel

First: Who are the gasoline whores? They are the collection of groups and associations paid by petroleum oil and gasoline producers to influence (bribe?) politicians and media personalities to keep us addicted to gasoline regardless of the cost (financial, emotional and philosophical). Their efforts serve one master, and that master is not the United States of America nor is it the American people. See below for the names of some of the specific groups that make up the gasoline whores.

The gasoline whores' business is to protect gasoline interests; to maintain their domination of our economy. They fight to keep getting the vast government subsidies that they've been getting for more than 100 years; they fight to keep getting undeserved tax breaks and other government perquisites; and of course, they fight to keep any alternative fuel or energy solution from becoming accepted and challenging gasoline primacy. In the fight against alternative fuels - next to payoffs - they rely most heavily on lies. They lie about the cost of the alt fuels, they lie about the manufacturing process, they lie about the health issues, they lie about the alt fuels' effects on business and industry. They are liars. For more information and historical background see:
   • The Auto Channel Fights for the Truth about Ethanol Versus Gasoline
   • Our 'Opium War' with Gasoline

Today, November 9th, a so-called diverse coalition of farm and food trade associations filed a Federal lawsuit in an attempt to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency's recent announcement to recommend that the percentage of ethanol (alcohol) that is added to gasoline could be increased from 10% to 15%. This coalition was organized by those entities cited below to appear to represent a well-meaning collection of industries that are expressing well thought-out anti-ethanol position. In truth, the positions are simply childish. I won't even call the positions puerile because the word "puerile" is too sophisticated to describe their silly statements. They are probably all receiving direct bribes or some sort of financial inducements to participate in the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that the EPA "exceeded their statutory authority."

Let me also say that to describe the lawsuit as "frivolous," as I did in the headline is really a gross understatement. I only used the word "frivolous" because I didn't want the headline to be longer than this entire piece. Words like stupid, idiotic, treasonous, false, wrong, incompetent, misinformed, dangerous, humorous and malicious could have all been included.

To begin with, the EPA merely announced that they are recommending that an additional 5% of ethanol could be added to gasoline used in 2006 and newer vehicles; thereby making it e15. Much to the displeasure of The Auto Channel and nearly all pro-ethanol entities the EPA did not mandate the increased amount of ethanol in all gasolines, and their recommendation only covered fairly new vehicles. Moreover, the recommendation was limited to just an e15 blend, although the EPA admitted that they tested up to a blend of e20 with no adverse effects on the tested vehicles.

Protesting the EPA recommendation is especially absurd considering that up until the EPA announcement the same coalition kept petitioning the EPA to conduct more research before issuing the recommendation. They never questioned the EPA's role in the process, or the EPA's authority to be involved. In other words, the coalition only found fault with the EPA's announcement because it went against their ridiculous position. The only reason that it took this long for the EPA to say yes to e15 is because they yielded to pressure from the gasoline whores to not approve the increased level of ethanol. The EPA, of course, found no problems so they had to finally make the announcement. Incidentally, the EPA is supposed to announce later this month or in December that it is okay to also use e15 blends in vehicles that are as old as 2001. We believe that the recommendation to do so is slam-dunk since all vehicles manufactured since the early 1990's can use far higher level or ethanol blends with no problem – but this issue is dealt with in my other editorials.

Now, let me address the preposterous statements made by some of the members of this vaunted coalition - all of whom should be ashamed of themselves:

Grocery Manufacturers Association Vice President for Federal Affairs Scott Faber said: “We were disappointed in the Administration’s decision to allow more ethanol in gasoline before truly sustainable advanced biofuels are commercially available. Not only will this decision adversely affect millions of consumers who don’t drive brand new cars, but also countless Americans who are struggling to feed their families in a recovering economy. Recent spikes in corn prices due to supply concerns will only be exacerbated by this decision. This legal action will give EPA a second chance to get this important decision right.”

The Auto Channel's response: Truly sustainable advanced biofuels? Humans have been making alcohol for thousands of years from nearly any plant they could find, what’s more sustainable than that. Advanced biofuels? That’s okay, too, once they’re ready, but why wait for cheaper fuel prices, oil independence and a cleaner environment when we have perfectly good truly sustainable biofuels right now – of which ethanol is only one alternative. By the way Mr. Faber, I challenge you to name what projected biofuels you’re referring to. I think you don’t know. I think you are reading/writing off a prepared script.

Regarding spikes in corn prices: According to Jay O'Neil, Senior Agricultural Economist at Kansas State University, a $4.00 retail box of corn flakes contains only 6 cents worth of corn. So if corn prices skyrocket 30% there would be 8 cents worth of corn in a $4.00 retail box of corn flakes. No, Mr., Faber, if the price of food goes up it is because transportation fuel has gone up, it's because marketing costs have increased, it's because grocery stores have increased their profit margins, it's not because corn prices have increased.

American Meat Institute President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle said: “Corn prices have increased since USDA released estimates that corn production for this year was going to be 3.4 percent less than 2009. This will put pressure on the meat and poultry supply, which will lead to higher food prices for consumers. For those consumers worried about climbing food prices, this decision will increase the amount of corn being diverted to our gas tanks and away from meat and poultry production. It’s unfortunate that EPA acted hastily and approved the use of E15, and now the American consumer will pay for it at the grocery store.”

TACH’s response: About 90% of the corn produced in the U.S. is used for feed stock. Much or most of the “corn” that is fed to cattle, for instance, is in the form of “distillers grain,” corn that has already been processed for ethanol and then re-used. Since the re-used portion is the only part that the cattle can digest, using the corn for ethanol is pretty much a perfect symbiotic relationship. So even if the price of raw corn goes up, its interim use to create ethanol is irrelevant to price of meat. A rise in meat prices, if justified, is because of other factors, and not really related to corn.

National Council of Chain Restaurants Vice President Scott Vinson said: “This challenge to the EPA’s decision is necessary to reduce the strain that ethanol production from corn has placed on U.S. agriculture. The EPA's decision will lead to an ever higher proportion of the nation's corn crop being diverted to fuel use, raising prices for participants in the food chain and consumers. Already supported by market-distorting mandates, tax credits and import tariffs, ethanol demand for corn has been singled out as the preferred use for U.S agricultural production long enough. Corn is an extremely important commodity used in feeding the world, and it's about time we reverse the trend of burning more and more of it as fuel.”

TACH's reply: Mr. Vinson, what script are you reading from? Why don't you question the government subsidies and allotments that the oil/gasoline industry has been receiving for more than 100 years? Why don't you question the billions of dollars of our money that is spent to protect enemy regimes and their oil? Oh, by the way, the world isn't fed by eating corn; wheat is your huckleberry. Wake up and smell the grease, buddy.

National Meat Association CEO Barry Carpenter said: “National Meat Association is joining this petition because EPA has overstepped its legal authority and taken action contrary to the interests of consumers and food producers. NMA believes the petition is necessary to defend against the cost increases and food insecurity that will result from EPA's action."

TACH’s response: We already said it.

National Turkey Federation President Joel Brandenberger said: “In trying so hard to rush out an E15 rule before Election Day, EPA completely disregarded the legitimate scientific concerns surrounding E15 and the potentially disastrous impact of diverting even more corn from food and feed to fuel. We believe the agency ignored the law as well, and we are confident the court will agree.”

TACH’s response: There are no legitimate scientific concerns regarding the use of ethanol. Ethanol is a proven engine fuel used around the world. It has been so used since the earliest automobiles in the mid 1800's. Until lies such as the ones that you spout about ethanol were created by gasoline interests, ethanol was the preferred fuel of choice by people in the know. Contemporary studies and research continually prove that ethanol hasn't suddenly become bad: It's as good and safe as it always was.

National Chicken Council Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Bill Roenigk said: “With corn supplies very tight and ending inventories projected to be precariously low, corn costs continue to head toward historical highs. Any unnecessary and arbitrary action by the government that would exacerbate the situation for traditional corn users is very questionable and an unwise move at this time.”

TACH’s reply: You’re an economist? You mean you should actually know how prices are raised and lowered – often by the fickle finger of commodity speculators - and lay the blame on ethanol as the factor for higher prices? Perhaps you should read the World Bank's reassessment of why corn prices went up a couple of years ago. It was not, as they first claimed, because of the growth of ethanol. Just how much were you paid to write your comment, or is it just part of your job description to misrepresent?

National Pork Producers Council Environment Committee Chairman Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minn., said: “EPA expects pork producers to abide by the law, and rightfully so. Pork Producers also expect EPA to do likewise.”

TACH's response: What? What law? The EPA made a non-binding (unfortunately) recommendation. What law did they break? Mr. Spronk, are you awake? Did you even read one sentance in the EPA announcement?

Snack Food Association President and CEO Jim McCarthy said: “In addition to failing to follow the spirit of the Clean Air Act, the EPA has made a decision that will adversely impact our food supply and ultimately cost American consumers greatly.”

TACH’s response: Hey, we love a candy bar and potato chips as much as the next person. But now some guy who represents an industry that might just be the biggest demon in the world is telling us about the environment and product costs! If there's only 6 cents worth of corn in a $4.00 box of corn flakes, I shudder to think of how much we are getting ripped off on a $4.00 bag of tortilla chips.

But, the number one reason why the lawsuit and entire opposition to e15 is so off base: We don't need corn to make ethanol, there are plenty of other agricultural products and by-products that can be used, and many of them do not require chemical fertilization or the use of “valuable” farm land. The whole issue of corn's use for ethanol is irrelevant.

In The Auto Channel's opinion the EPA did not go far enough in their announcement last month about e15, but we recognize that they just may not have the authority to do anything further. So we look to the guy from Illinois we elected president, who promised in a nationally televised speech that we were going to get change in our energy policy, and that that change would involve transforming the U.S. into an alternative-fuel energy-independent nation: Yo, Barry, get rid of gasoline. We don’t need it; it only props up all the regimes that want to kill us. Get off the stick and make something happen.

And now, the credits

The evil villains:
American Petroleum Institute
National Petrochemical & Refiners Association
All gasoline companies
Prism Public Affairs
Jerry Taylor and the CATO Institute
David Fridley
The aforementioned coalition members
Hugo Chavez
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The heroes
David Blume & Tom Harvey
Ted Chipner & Ohio Biosystems
American Coalition for Ethanol
Growth Energy
Ethanol Today Magazine
Renewable Fuel Association
Anne Korin & the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security
Dave & Steve Vander Griend & ICM, Inc.
Tom Waterman and Ethanol Monitor Magazine
Edwin Black
My business partner Bob Gordon, me and everyone at The Auto Channel

More information about all of the above named people and entities can be found on by entering the names in our search window on the top left side of the page.

If you have factual information that contradicts what we have presented above please send it to us. We are not beholden to any sides in this issue, other than what is right for the United States. We believe we are correct. If we're wrong please show us. Write to