Big Business Finds Love for Ethanol
A push from Congress and the White House for huge increases in biofuels such as ethanol, is prompting the oil industry to scale back its plans for refinery expansions - which could keep gasoline prices high, possibly for years to come.
With President Bush calling for a 20 percent drop in gasoline use and the Senate now debating legislation for huge increases in ethanol production, oil companies see growing uncertainty about future gasoline demand and little need to expand refineries or build new ones.
Oil industry executives no longer believe there will be the demand for gasoline over the next decade to warrant the billions of dollars in refinery expansions - as much as 10 percent increase in new refining capacity - they anticipated as recently as a year ago.
Biofuels such as ethanol and efforts to get automakers to build more fuel-efficient cars and SUVs have been portrayed as key to countering high gasoline prices, but it is likely to do little to curb costs at the pump today, or in the years ahead as refiners reduce gasoline production.
When I saw that Jeb Bush had become involved in ethanol development, it was the clincher to several hints I've seen that ethanol is being taken over by big business as its next source of abusing the public...to use biofuels as an excuse to keep oil prices high comes as no surprise.
It's time to walk when you can, bicycle when you can't walk, and generally find alternatives to the private vehicle use that has gotten us into this mess. While I am proud of the Honda Civic that gets me around, I now leave it parked whenever I can.
(This post also at http://cabdrollery.blogspot.com )