The German government’s plan to follow our lead and force a ten percent blend of ethanol down its citizen’s throats has hit a snag. Unlike here in the States, German consumers can choose to buy gasoline without ethanol in it. So, that’s what they’re doing even though it costs more!

I took the above photo with my cell phone while filling up our Prius. Your elected politicians are forcing you to fuel your car with food. Why aren’t you morally outraged?


Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Refiners and gas stations are sitting on full tanks of unsold Super E10. On the other hand, there already are shortages of the more expensive, but also more energy-laden Super Plus.


Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The article that follows is taken from one I wrote in 2009 when food prices were spiking. Here we are two years later and they are spiking again.

The above cartoon was created last summer (2008) by Michael Ramirez. And he wasn’t the only cartoonist covering the topic. There were food riots in over thirty countries that summer. Big Biofuel tells us their product had nothing to do with it, but think about it. Although the corn ethanol lobby would happily do so if they could get away with it, no sane politician would back a plan to turn all of America’s corn and soybean crops into biofuels. Doing so would starve millions of impoverished children around the world and wreak havoc on our food system. If turning all of it into biofuels would wreak havoc, turning a quarter of it into biofuels (which we just did last year) wreaks one quarter of that havoc.

Photo:toddehler via Flickr

Attempts to get consumers to use corn ethanol as a fuel have a long history in our country. It has been marketed under the names Alcoline, Agrol, Gasohol, and finally, E-85. Gasohol, which is a 10 percent blend of ethanol, was sold in the eighties. You got to decide if you wanted it or not and most people decided they didn’t as the above picture attests. The ag and biofuel lobbyists got together with our politicians and found a way to fix that. They simply blend it into our gas without our permission and charge us an extra dollar a tank to subsidize the biofuel industry that is forcing this crappy fuel down our throats. I say crappy because, in so many words, that is what Consumer Reports concluded it was when they tested it.

These fuels cannot make a dent in our fuel imports. Only high mileage cars and mass transit can do that. It took an area equal to all of the cropland in Indiana (almost a quarter of our corn crop) to replace a mere 4% of our fuel supply last year.

Cross-posted from Biodiversivist