~e; private US opposes public US renewables law

From bc <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Tue, 18 Dec 2001 20:22:02 -0600





  [no comment is the comment on the article below. things are more complex,
  yet simpler than first imagined. it seems some strain of influence
of low-prices
  predetermines an outcome, which may be better short term, worse long-term,
  and there being little middle-ground, but competition where the lobbyists are
  agog with solutions that benefit status-quo ways of doing things. the sad part
  is, patriotic as that may be, it may be the end-game of this state
of things. and
  others knowing the hand in this game of cards may be a bluff and, in turn, win
  in the short term, lose in the medium and long-term. scary to imagine. scarier
  if it indeed happens. but so is life. in closed systems things can
be predetermined.]

USA: Coalition asks Senate to oppose renewables law
http://just-auto.com/news_detail.asp?art=36620
18 Dec 2001 Source: Reuters

By Randy Fabi

WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - U.S. oil refiners, car makers and
truckers on Monday urged Senate leaders to oppose legislation
mandating a large increase in U.S. renewable fuel use, saying it
would translate into higher petrol prices for consumers.

A coalition led by the National Petrochemical and Refiners
Association said the transportation infrastructure would also be
threatened by the loss of federal highway funds if Congress required
all motor fuels to contain more ethanol, biodiesel or other renewable
fuels.

The American Highway Users Alliance, which represents vehicle makers,
oil companies and construction firms, is also part of the coalition.

The Senate was expected in mid-February to consider a broad energy
bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a South Dakota
Democrat. His bill has been embraced by farm groups because one of
its provisions would more than double the amount of corn-based
ethanol and other renewable fuels used to 5 billion gallons annually
by 2012.

Current demand is about 1.9 billion gallons a year.

Two other bills have also been introduced in Congress that would
establish a renewable fuels standard.

Farm groups promote renewables as a clean, environmentally friendly
fuel that can be produced from surplus U.S. grain.

Refiners and oil industry groups disagree.

"While ethanol has some desirable blending properties, it is
currently twice as expensive as the petrol it is intended to
replace," the groups said in a letter to Daschle and Senate Minority
Leader Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican.

Fuel prices have fallen sharply due as economic growth has slowed.
The average U.S. retail price for regular unleaded petrol is now
about $US1.06 per gallon, while cleaner-burning reformulated petrol
sells for about $1.09 a gallon, according to the U.S. Energy
Department's latest weekly price survey.

A recent study by Cornell University also criticised the economics of
ethanol. The Cornell researchers said the amount of fuel needed to
make ethanol was greater than what was actually produced.

"Ethanol would not be economically viable except for the large
federal subsidies which it receives," the coalition led by the U.S.
refiners said. "If a national mandate is adopted, the economic
implications will get much worse."

Critics also say states would lose federal highway funds because
ethanol-blended fuel is typically taxed at a lower rate than
reformulated petrol.

Coalition members also included the National Association of
Convenience Stores, Small Business Survival Committee, Oxygenated
Fuels Association and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers.

Earlier this month, a study by pro-ethanol groups found that a
four-fold increase in renewable fuel use in the United States by 2016
would add $6.6 billion to the U.S. farm economy and 300,000 new jobs.
The study did not address whether a renewable fuels mandate would
increase petrol prices.

 Reuters 2001. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution
of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means,
is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.
Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and
trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

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