Current Marketing Thoughts
By: Kevin Van Trump
Kevin Van Trump has over 20 years of experience in the grain and livestock industry.
The Ethanol Battle Begins
Jan 28, 2011
If you haven't heard as of yet there is a "heavy weight" battle set to take place between those for ethanol and those against ethanol. The debate has been brewing for some time now, but I am predicting the gloves might come off sooner than we may have thought. In just the past couple of days there have been some major developments. In the "Green" corner the challenger "Ethanol" is attempting to knock off the current champ, and some of the "old money" is not taking it lightly. On Jan 25th Senator Jim Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, and Michael Burgess, a Republican from Texas introduced the "Leave Ethanol Volumes at Existing Levels Act". Claiming the EPA has hastily approved using additional ethanol, and they want more studies to be done. Burgess's main concern is that the EPA came to their conclusion too quickly. I think there may be more to it than that. In fact from what I have heard both have taken their fair share of money from the "oil & gas industry". I have heard Inhofe has been banking big bucks from the "Champs" corner since at least 1990. In fact the Federal Elections Commission shows that he has received more than $1,000,000 in campaign contributions from his oil and gas supporters. Burgess is believed to to still be in the six figures, but has been supporting the "Champ" since at least 2002. I will guarantee this, the big oil money in this country is not going to go down with out a massive fight...they have too many years and too many dollars invested. The problem is guys like Tom Harkin, a Democratic Senator from Iowa are starting to get under their skin, and seem to be content on challenging their reign of control both at the pumps and at the White House. Harkin, along with some of his constituents have definitely raised the stakes now by introducing their own piece of legislation, called the "Biofuels Market Expansion Act of 2011." If the bill were to get passed, I am told it would essentially ensure an increasing number of automobiles in the US be flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). It would also expand the number of blender pumps and make renewable fuel pipelines eligible for the federal loan guarantee pipeline program. In easier to understand lingo, they want to build an extensive infrastructure for ethanol by placing alternative fuel pumps at the gas stations, and trying to mandate more alternative fuel vehicles be available in the marketplace. Their goal is to have 50% of the vehicles offered for sale here in the US be some type of flex-fuel vehicle with ability of some to run off of 85% ethanol...WOW! I have to believe the Oil folks might have a little something to say about this one. Look for things to heat up quickly.
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