Ivor O’Connor

December 16, 2008

Ethanol plants going bust

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:04 pm

Ethanol in my mind has always been a bad idea. It allowed some farmers to drive up the world food prices, including our own, with our tax subsidies. It has caused massive amounts of deforestation through the world as our taxes have driven up the prices farmers in other countries could get. Ethanol still required burning. I don’t care if it is theoretically a cleaner burn somehow. It’s still pollution. And it took money and attention away from the solar and wind which are truly clean and economical industries. I had no idea Ethanol would vanish so quickly though. That’s just incredible.

It’s a scene that has been repeated throughout the United States: Clovis, N.M. Nevada, Mo. Hartsburg, Ill. Lamoni, Iowa. Evansville, Wis. Greybull, Wyo. Rock Port, Mo. Belle Fourche, S.D. All were supposed to have biofuels plants operating or under construction by now. None do.

This week, another ethanol plant, in Pratt, Kan., declared bankruptcy. Prospects for another in San Pierre, Ind., have grown dim.

Hopes ran high in many small towns amid an explosive interest in biofuels and a rush to build large plants. Unseen by planners, however, was the coming spike in crop prices and a financial meltdown unlike any that America has seen since the Great Depression.

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