Is This Ethanol Basher Seeking a Seat on the V.I. Wall of Shame?
She's FUBAR - 'Forbed' Up Beyond All Recognition
Author of THE ETHANOL PAPERS and YES, TIN LIZZIE WAS AN ALCOHOLIC
Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher
THE AUTO CHANNEL
I love it, love it, love it when people with incredibly fantastic academic and professional credentials show that they know absolutely nothing about the subject matter they are discussing. Such is the case of Diana Furchtgott-Roth and her recent Forbes article titled "Higher Ethanol Mandates Are A Lose-Lose For Americans."
According to one published bio:
"Diana Furchtgott-Roth is director of the Center for Energy, Climate, and Environment and the Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow in Energy and Environmental Policy at The Heritage Foundation. She is an Oxford-educated economist, a frequent guest on TV and radio shows, and a columnist for Forbes.
"Diana worked in senior roles in the White House under Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. She has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology at the U.S. Department of Transportation; Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Department of Treasury; Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor; Chief of Staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers; and Deputy Executive Secretary of the White House Domestic Policy Council.
Diana is the author or coauthor of six books and hundreds of articles on economic policy, including Regulating to Disaster: How Green Jobs Policies are Destroying America's Economy (Encounter Books, 2012). Her most recent book is United States Income, Wealth, Consumption, and Inequality (Oxford University Press, 2021). She received degrees in economics from Swarthmore College and Oxford University."
Forbes has been responsible for consistently publishing some of the worst, and most incorrect anti-ethanol stories. But this article is a new low point for them. In fact, it's even worse than the recent anti-ethanol article written by Michael Lynch that Forbes published this past June 2022.
What makes Michael Lynch's June article so outlandish is that my online debate with him three years ago proved that he knows very, very little about ethanol fuel and its benefits. The passage of time shows that he's not learned anything, and he must have figured it was safe to stick his nose back into this arena. It wasn't, I just didn't have the time to address his latest nonsense last summer. But Diana's rubbish was enough to energize me into writing this rebuttal. She starts her anti-ethanol comments with:
"At a time when President Biden is pushing the nation towards electric vehicles, and when he seeks lower gasoline prices for drivers, it makes no sense to increase the amount of ethanol required to be used."
While I would never, ever defend any action or statement made by Joe Biden, here's why it makes sense to increase the required/mandated/suggested amount of ethanol fuel to be used:
WITH EACH DROP OF GASOLINE AND DIESEL FUEL USED THERE ARE MORE POISONOUS EMISSIONS SPEWED INTO OUR AIR AND LUNGS. THEREFORE, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE STOP USING PETROLEUM OIL FUELS IMMEDIATELY.
And, because any swap to electric vehicles from internal combustion engine vehicles will take many years to complete, this means that MILLIONS, even BILLIONS, of internal combustion engine vehicles will continue to fart out the deadly gasoline/diesel fumes and particulate matter. Ethanol reduces the amount of poison, and the change over to more ethanol doesn't have to take months, years, or decades, it can be done right this minute! If a mandate for ethanol was high enough, it could eliminate the continuing problems caused by petroleum oil fuels almost entirely, very quickly.
Diana's next paragraph dives deeper into her pool of ignorance. She claims:
"Ethanol reduces gas mileage for drivers and raises the price per gallon because refiners are required to purchase renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance credits, called renewable identification numbers (RINs), which add to the price of gasoline."
Any reduction in gasoline mileage because of the inclusion of 10% or 15% ethanol is almost always offset by the lower price of E10 or E15 compared to E0. The lower price of E10/E15 often makes its use a net gain. This is simple economics. Among Diana Furchtgott-Roth's professional credentials is that she is an economist. WTF happened, Diana, did you miss Economics class the day the professor explained how this works?
Additionally, if ethanol-gasoline blends were increased to E30 to E50, many vehicles would actually gain mileage per gallon, as well as benefit from higher increased savings on each gallon purchased. If Diana Furchtgott-Roth did any real research on ethanol she would have known this - of course, she may know it but simply hoped no one would notice the gaffe.
Yeah, well I noticed it! Sorry, Diana.
Furthermore, the lower price of ethanol brings down the price of the fuel blends, despite whatever RINs cost. The reason for RINs in the first place is that we can't trust the oil industry to use the renewable fuel additive that they are supposed to use. If we left it up to the oil industry, they would lie about how much ethanol is being used.
To bolster her argument about RINs, Diana uses quotes from two construction industry guys...CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY...not the energy industry, not the automobile industry, not the financial industry.
Gasoline and diesel fuel prices have not risen because of ethanol and RINs, but because of the outrageously high price of domestic and foreign crude oil. Any attempt to blame ethanol for the increase in the price of oil is outright stupid.
Next, pseudo-economist Diana misstates the reasons and the effects of the Renewable Fuel Standard. She writes:
"In the mid-2000s, when Congress imposed renewable fuel mandates to make America independent from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), adding ethanol to gasoline was seen as a way to reduce gasoline consumption, reduce oil imports and even curtail tailpipe emissions."
In reality, Congress mandated a change in most gasoline twenty years earlier, in 1986, when they finally banned tetraethyl lead (TEL). The ban should have occurred 60 years earlier in the 1920s, but the largesse of the oil industry's wallet was too great for our elected officials to refuse. The deleterious effects of tetraethyl lead from those 60 years caused the permanent illness and death of hundreds of millions of people around the world. (SEE: "Horrific New Video Identifies Man Who Killed The Most People In History")
The neurological damage caused by TEL is still with us today and its the cause of why each succeeding generation of humans is dumber and dumber.
My criticism of Diana's mis-history lesson doesn't end here. Congress made rumblings about ways "to reduce gasoline consumption, reduce oil imports and even curtail tailpipe emissions" in the 1970s, in response to the oil crisis caused by OPEC and supported by the entire oil industry (that's right, the 1970s oil crisis was supported by, and allowed by the oil/gasoline companies because they knew that it would allow them to dramatically increase their revenue and profits). Because of the Congressional pressure, MTBE was used starting in the late '70s. Using MTBE was an oil industry decision. It was known as being harmful even then, but what the hell, the oil industry had been poisoning the public for so long and were allowed to get away with it that they probably didn't give a damn about what they fed us. (SEE: "The Oil Industry Has Been Poisoning Us For Decades, and They've Always Known It")
A decade and a half after the banning of TEL almost everyone was against the continuation of MTBE use. Gradually some states started to restrict it and use small amounts of ethanol to act as the anti-knock oxygenate required to increase gasoline's octane level. The enactment of the Renewable Fuel Standard did not mandate the use of ethanol, it mandated the use of a BIOFUEL to "...reduce gasoline consumption, reduce oil imports and even curtail tailpipe emissions." It was the oil industry that chose to use ethanol as the additive. They chose ethanol because, despite their public anti-ethanol statements, they knew that ethanol was cleaner, healthier, safer, less expensive, and more powerful than gasoline or any other crap refined from petroleum oil.
How do I know that the oil industry knew all about the benefits of ethanol? Simple, I wrote an extensive report about this that documents the benefits. (SEE: "The Hypocrisy of Big Oil and API")
It is now just shy of 5 years since I wrote and published "The Hypocrisy of Big Oil and API." Not one person associated with the oil industry has ever stepped forward to challenge me and my report, not even a whisper in contradiction.
Diana continues to show off her ignorance of the subject matter when she cites ethanol subsidies. She wrote:
"In 2012, the subsidy of 45 cents a gallon expired, along with the 54-cent tariff for imported ethanol. What keeps the ethanol industry afloat in 2022 is the mandate for the American economy to consume ethanol."
When I read this paragraph, I thought to myself, "Diana Furchtgott-Roth better hope that the schools she attended never read this statement because otherwise they'll demand their diplomas back."
"What keeps the ethanol industry afloat in 2022 is the mandate for the American economy to consume ethanol"
She seems to write this as if this was a brilliant lesson in economics.
Hey Diana, the gasoline industry was allowed to succeed and be kept successful in all the years since gasoline was first invented in the late 1800s because of government taxes that priced alcohol too high, then the government made it illegal to manufacture alcohol, then the government subsidized the entire oil industry to the tune of billions, if not trillions, of dollars. Included in these subsidies is providing the oil industry with a global security force for free. Watch the video below:
The ethanol subsidies she refers to were not actually ethanol subsidies, they were subsidies that went to the oil industry for blending ethanol with gasoline. Farmers and distillers didn't receive these funds, and when the oil industry urged for the removal of the subsidies, thinking that it would push the price of E10 higher than gasoline and make consumers angry, they only hurt their own blenders. E10 ethanol-gasoline fuel continued to be lower than the price of E0 gasoline. They cut their greedy snot-noses and spited their ugly filthy faces.
At this point, I guess Diana must have been feeling her oats, or someone else's oats, because she felt confident enough to venture into the "food vs. fuel" debate. She wrote:
"Of 90 million acres of corn in America, about 45 percent is dedicated to ethanol, shrinking supplies that go into food.
"In sum, EPA’s efforts to raise the fraction of ethanol in a gallon of gasoline above 10 percent of pumped gasoline has raised prices for American consumers."
The entire food vs. fuel argument against the use of ethanol is preposterous, ridiculous, inane, idiotic, childish, and boorish. I realize I could have just said that the food vs fuel argument is stupid, but I've used the word stupid too much already.
Obviously, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, and whoever her advisors are, never read my debate-ending essay on the issue. (SEE: "BAM! Closing the Door to the Food vs. Ethanol Fuel Argument")
Once this rebuttal is published I'll try to make sure that they become aware of it.
Lastly, but certainly not least-ly, this person with what should be unassailable professional and academic credentials, tells the world which vehicles are safe to use ethanol and what the ethanol levels should be.
Let me be clear on this: ALL, and I mean ALL, spark-ignited internal combustion engine vehicles in the world - regardless of age and manufacturer - can safely, efficiently, and economically use ethanol-gasoline blends significantly higher than E10 or E15. And, all vehicles that have had their onboard computer software (or an inexpensive conversion device) installed can safely, efficiently, and economically use E85 and higher blends.
All negative comments about ethanol are incorrect. They are either lies, exaggerations, or myths. They were mostly invented by the petroleum oil industry.
If someone is disseminating negative information about ethanol they are WRONG! I don't care who they are, where they went to school, or who they know; there are no negatives to using ethanol fuel.
What I just don't understand is why ethanol bashers with such outstanding academic and professional careers are so willing to sully their reputations by making so many wrong, idiotic claims against ethanol.
Welcome to your seat on the Village Idiot wall, Diana.
Diana Furchtgott-Roth being questioned before a Congressional Committee on May 3, 2023 that reveals the millions of dollars that Heritage Foundation receives from the oil industry every year.