Saturday, September 22, 2007

Big Oil's Big Stall on Ethanol: Keep E85 Out of Drivers' Tanks

Business Week logo Food vs Fuel Ethanol E85Business Week, in its October 1, 2007 issue, is running an insightful article, Big Oil's Big Stall on Ethanol, on the oil industry's efforts to discredit ethanol and eliminate competition.

The article lays out the industries aggressive campaign which includes:
  • Pocketing billions in ethanol subsidies while working against the E85 blend with tactics both overt and stealthy.
  • Funding studies that bash the spread of ethanol for driving up the price of corn
  • Not supporting E85 pumps at gas stations.
  • Funding an anti-ethanol information campaign. "In June the API [American Petroleum Institute] released a study it commissioned from research firm Global Insight Inc. The conclusions are far from universally accepted, but they have been picked up and promoted by anti-ethanol groups like the Coalition for Balanced Food & Fuel Policy."
  • Using oil-stained academics to promote their message: "There is perhaps no one more hostile to ethanol than Tad W. Patzek, a geo-engineering professor at the University of California at Berkeley. A former Shell petroleum engineer, Patzek co-founded the UC Oil Consortium, which studies engineering methods for getting oil out of the ground. It counts BP, Chevron USA, Mobil USA, and Shell among its funders."
One of the most interesting quotes from the article relates to the face-off with the auto industry.
"Big Oil is at the top of the list for blocking the spread of ethanol acceptance by consumers and the marketplace," says Loren Beard, senior manager for energy planning and policy at Chrysler, referring to the struggle to get E85 pumps installed.
It's good to see, at least one major media company, can see through the industry's deceitful efforts to discredit alternative energy.

Source: Business
American Petroleum Institute API

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