Remember all that hubbub about the new energy bill, following the Great Blackout? What ever happened? Lynne Kiesling offers a useful update on where things are at.
Here is part of her overview:
There’s a lot of stuff in those measures that is economically unsound and may even increase net energy use, such as increased ethanol use. But my political science friends tell me that as long as Denny Hastert is speaker of the House and the Iowa caucuses have the power they do in the Presidential election, corn farmers will be able to sock it to us, good and hard…ethanol’s nose gets in the tent through a renewable fuels mandate, not through the federal fuel oxygenate requirement. Ethanol a renewable fuel? Stop for a second to think about how ethanol is made: till soil, fertilize, plant corn, harvest, process it using lots of fossil fuel energy and creating air, water and soil emissions in the process, transport it in trucks, trains and barges to its consumption location. So there are a few parts in the production process that require fossil fuel use, and consequently result in emissions.
In other words, special interests and political rent-seeking are preventing us from adopting a sounder energy policy. Will things ever change? Stay tuned to Lynne’s blog for periodic updates.