Ethanol, Field of Schemes

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From Ed Wallace, Fort Worth Startelegram [link]

 “Why is ethanol ten to twelve cents more per gallon? Why am I getting taken twice?” — Steve Kirkpatrick, corn farmer, Cedar County, Iowa (Sioux City Journal,July 4, 2006)

…It tickles me that the quote that started this column came from America’s Heartland. Iowa corn farmer Steve Kirkpatrick is infuriated that he’s not making any extra money growing corn to fulfill our ethanol mandate. Yet E10, the same ethanol/gas mixture we use here in the Metroplex, is now selling for more money than regular (non-ethanol-enhanced) gasoline in Iowa. That’s ironic, considering that Iowa is an ocean of corn islanded with ethanol refineries.
Typical of the American ability to blame someone else, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association’s Lucy Norton claimed the rising price of E10 in Iowa on East Coast distribution problems. That, of course, does not explain ethanol’s high price in Iowa; the distribution there, from cornfield to refinery to gas station, can encompass as little as 10 driving miles.
The best irony? Farmers using E10 ethanol are also complaining that they also get lower gas mileage than they did without it. To which I reply: “Welcome to the new reality and mess created by Congress, a mess that Iowa farmers also lobbied to make.”

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