It's Time To Wake Up Ethanol Stakeholders, Before The Opportunity To Save America And The World Vaporizes - SPECIAL UPDATE
Supreme Court Rips The Heart Out Of The Ethanol Fuel Movement
UPDATE: Just a few hours after posting this story about how the ethanol industry is being screwed, Reuters published a story saying that The Biden administration is considering lowering the 2022 ethanol blending mandate below his promised levels. That's a double screwing.
By Marc J. Rauch
Author of THE ETHANOL PAPERS
Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher
THE AUTO CHANNEL
On Monday, after reading the story about the Supreme Court refusing to hear an ethanol industry appeal to reinstate year-round sales of E15, my business partner (Bob Gordon) stated "Well, I guess the cavalry isn't coming."
No, the cavalry is not coming, largely because the cavalry never saddled their horses. And one of the best ways to explain why the cavalry never saddled their horses is the story told to me a few months ago by an executive at a large ethanol company.
The executive was having dinner with a very, very powerful Washington politician and a couple of his staffers. This politician had not been friendly to ethanol, but he and his team went to dinner because that's one of the prerequisites of being an elected office holder - a free lunch, - in this case, a free dinner.
The executive, who is very knowledgeable, articulate, and personable, gave his pitch. At the end of the presentation and some Q&A, the politician said: "I'm convinced, now you just have to convince my constituents!"
Constituents, of course, are the voters. The essence of this comment is that there is no hue and cry for ethanol fuel from the people who keep the politician in office. And the reason why there is no hue and cry for ethanol fuel from his voters, and the majority of voters in America, is that they have never been given the full story. The story that had been continually banged into their heads, and their parents' heads, for so many years was that petroleum oil fuels were the greatest thing...better than sliced bread! (For example, the ridiculous books and essays that claim there is a "moral case" for petroleum oil fuels.)
Finally, after millions and millions of people lost their health and lives because of petroleum oil products, the constituents started to hear some different things, things about a fuel that can be made from alcohols. But the oil industry opened their propaganda war chests and spread newer lies about the alcohol engine fuels. The oil industry depended on their buddies in the nation's capitol (and in state capitols around the country) that they have been treating to perks for decades to spread the new lies. They also used media spokespeople and celebrities to spread the lies to the public - the constituents.
In the meantime, the alcohol fuel industry, primarily the ethanol fuel industry, did very little to fight the spread of old and new lies about the alcohol fuels. Without doubt, it was a monumental uphill battle because the ethanol fuel industry didn't have the ways and the means (I mean that literally and figuratively) to mount a fight against the oil industry.
Yes, ethanol had right on its side, and a cleaner healthier story to tell, but the story didn't get out to the constituents. Instead, the funds scraped together to fight the lies were used to feed the politicians who have been continuously sucking on the teats of the oil industry for more than a century. But, politicians didn't really need the extra nourishment from the ethanol industry to survive. And since there was no other significant instinctive pressure from their constituents to stay alive (a metaphor for 'the visceral instinct to stay in office'), they occasionally dined out with the ethanolers, but always came home to the oil industry meal wagons.
However, the public...the constituents...the voters...THE EVERYDAY CONSUMERS were never seriously addressed. Most consumer influencers (media/celebrity spokespeople and automotive journalists) only ever heard the Big Oil lies, and then they repeated the lies.
The major ethanol advocacy groups spent the money given to them by farmers and distillers to play house in the capitol cities. Occasionally a real fighter would work his way into the major advocacy groups, but they would get pushed out over concerns that they were too strong, too vocal, too right, and too capable. I'm thinking of guys like Doug Durante and Bob Colesworthy. (Sorry if this praise embarrasses you, Doug and Bob.)
When you're in a street fight against a larger, stronger opponent you don't fight Marquess of Queensberry Rules. You kick the SOB in the testicles and hit him over the head with a garbage can (one of the old metal garbage cans, not a plastic one). This is how Little Ethanol should have fought Ugly Big Oil.
Sometimes, a good fighter on the periphery would come along who could have helped bring the ethanol truths to the public, but the large ethanol advocacy groups shunned them, too. The leaders of the groups were afraid of losing their meal tickets to people who had street sense and were willing to step up and kick the evil giant in the nuts. I'm not even talking about Bob Gordon and myself (although I think we have proved our mettle). I'm talking about guys and gals like David Blume, Tom Quinn, Tom Harvey, Bobby Likis, Bob Falco, Michael Carolan, Jamie Kitman, Alan Anderson, John Brackett, Adam Khan, Classy Evans, Ted Chipner, the Goettemoeller brothers, Richard Freudenberger, Ron Bengtson, and last (only because he deserves a special mention) Bill Kovarik.
Sadly, now, so much time has been wasted and so much momentum has been lost. The entire hope - the only real hope - to make America and other nations energy independent while also cleaning our skies and water, is rapidly being surpassed by the utter nonsense of electric vehicles.
Yes, for crying out loud, YES!, electric vehicles may be the Great Right Hope to clean the environment and make all nations equitable.....some day. But not now, not tomorrow, not by 2024 or 2030 or 2050. And most certainly not as long as the conversion to EVs will make COMMUNIST CHINA the rulers of the world. It's bad enough that they are buying up America's farmland. We don't need more commie supply and demand games, slave labor, and incurable viruses.
Over the past few months, since the start of the Covid crisis began, I've written and published several editorials that more fully explain The Auto Channel's evolving position. These stories don't just deal with defeating the myths of ethanol corrosiveness or water absorption; I've done that enough over the past 15 years. These articles uncover the cloak that has kept ethanol fuel from reaching its full potential. If you haven't read them before, you should do so now before a quiet electric vehicle runs over your life.