US renewable fuel association, a few questions

It is worth going to check out the keynote speech from the US Renewable Fuel Association meeting in Tucson, Arizona  on 20 February 2007.

Speaking as not as one of the “nattering nabobs of negativity” but rather as a skeptical environmentalist there is a lot in RFA president Bob Dinneen’s speech that is veryuseful and a lot that puzzles me.

For instance Bob, your assertion that US trade policy does not protect the ethanol industry from competition. This is made on the basis that despite a 54cent/gallon import duty on fuel ethanol, the US imported 600m gallons of ethanol in 2006, 400 million gallons from Brazil.

What would those figures have been without the tariff?

Why does the tariff ensure that US consumers are not being “forced to subsidised foreign produced ethanol”?

While it is fine to believe strongly in the ability of the American farmer to produce, whether the additional 6 to 10 million additional acres of corn planted this year, which implies a crop in excess of 13billion bushels, does it mean that that crop area will be sustainable in future years?

When do you expect cellulosic ethanol to take up the slack?

I will be interested to see how US consumers feel about

 ”the new market equilibrium, one that is capable of supplying both feed and industrial uses for corn and how we will not meet the growing demand for food in this world unless we also supply the growing demand for energy”

Because to me that means higher prices for corn and that means higher prices for everything else that depends on corn or other grains that can be substituted. Am I wrong Bob?

Do you worry about the inflationary effects of this shift into ethanol?

Generally Bob, can you tell me how the RFA arrived at the figures you quote so lavishly in your text?

Come on Bob lets dialogue!

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