Thursday, November 29, 2007

Panacea to pariah...

A comment appeared below this post purporting to be from Bob Moffitt, a PR guy for the Minnesota state American Lung Association organisation. He takes umbrage at the assertions in the article I examined here, that the ALA is concerned about a particular pollutant from the burning of gasoline and ethanol together.

For more on Mr. Moffitt and his relationship to the ALA of the upper midwest and/or the ALA in general, look here-

all is not, as usual, what it seems. :-)) Moffitt does not actually say the WSJ's assertion about the ALA is inaccurate, only that his organisation is not a critic of biofuels (a point the WSJ didn't actually make). He says the ALA recognizes that 'alternative fuels can play an important role in the reduction of fossil fuel use' and that 'they can vary widely on their impact on lung health because of their composition and application'.

For enlightenment on that first part, just read the WSJ article itself. As to the second part, it supports rather than opposes the WSJ's assertion about what the ALA said. In the end, I'm not sure why Mr. Moffitt bothered to post here.

Like I said in this original post, the energy problem is essentially leftism, not energy. A guy from Minnesota (a state experiencing paroxysms of silly leftism at present) showing up here for disputation sort of illustrates my point.

Meanwhile, on with my original post, whose content I am not the least bit convinced by Mr. Moffitt to alter:

Ethanol, from panacea to pariah in one year.

So says the Dead Tree Edition of the Wall Street Journal yesterday, front page, above the fold.

"Little over a year ago, ethanol was winning the hearts and wallets of both main street and wall street"

In the span of one growing season, the Journal says ethanol critics complain it pushes up food prices, has questionable green bona fides and that it doesn't reduce the need for oil nearly as much as its proponents said it would.

Even the American Lung Association has gotten into the act, expressing concern about a certain air pollutant arising from the burning of a mix of ethanol and gasoline. And an outside expert working for the UN has said that the food price inflation resulting from using food as fuel is a 'crime against humanity' because of the burden on the poor.

Remember the tortilla riots down south, last year? The price of corn tortillas had tripled in a short time, and folks were understandably upset.

And the National Academy of Sciences says the business of corn crops for ethanol could strain water supplies for irrigation.

Naturally, America is the biggest producer of ethanol and has the most to lose in the form of futures investments, stock prices of related companies, etc. Whole communities in farming areas are now economically based on ethanol production through their crops.

There's a lot to lose when the fairy tale ends, when the unreality of political correctness comes home to roost in the form of painful economic REALITY.

The fact is, there is only one economically VIABLE substitute for oil at this time in the history of the planet, and that's NUCLEAR power.

But leftists won't let us build new plants. Even though there's only been one accident in the past thirty years, and it was in Russia, at a plant which was built with old technology even then.

Many nuclear plants, even those with that old technology, still soldier on around the world, working well, providing clean safe electricity to power those future electric cars we're all supposed to be driving.. and imagine how much better the NEW plants would be, with new efficient technologies and new computerized redundant safety systems.... and yet, we can't build new plants.

Nor can we drill in Alaska, or off the coast of Florida, or in California.... the leftists complain about high gas prices but will NOT address the supply issue that causes them.

Heck, they won't even let us build new REFINERIES, even though these have as much to do with gas supply crunches and sudden pump price increases as the supply of oil does....

It's clear to me, given the new acknowledgement of ethanol's miserable failure (which I predicted last year), that the chief obstacle to America-- and the world-- having all the safe, low priced power it wants is... LEFTISTS.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The WSJ got it wrong.

Used without proper context in an article that broadly covers criticism of the ethanol industry, it appears that the American Lung Association is an ethanol critic. This is not true. The American Lung Association recognizes that alternative fuels can play an important role in the reduction of fossil fuel use and that they can vary significantly in their impact on lung health because of their composition and application.

For example, the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest has led a nationally-recognized E85 (an ethanol-based alternative fuel that can be used in flex-fuel vehicles) pilot program since 1998. We remain a strong supporter of E85 and biodiesel, both of which have been tested and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as cleaner-burning alternatives to traditional petroleum fuels.

Bob Moffitt
Communications Director
American Lung Association of MN