First we read this:
Sacramento, Calif.’s Pacific Ethanol said today it has temporarily suspended operations at two of its 60-million-gallon-per-year plants in Burley, Idaho, and Stockton, Calif., just a few weeks after the company suspended another facility in California, a 40-million gallon plant in Madera.
Then we read this:
A major U.S. corn producer group says it will continue to pursue incentives to expand ethanol production despite criticism from ailing meat and dairy producers that the corn-based biofuel is to blame for their current economic woes.
Enough with the corn ethanol. It’s time for the government to lift it’s mandate that ethanol be mixed with gasoline. It’s only hurting. It isn’t helping the environment, it’s not helping consumers. It’s helping corn farmers and little else. We’re open to being told we’re wrong, but thus far we haven’t been given any reason to think differently.
After writing this post we stumbled upon this, which isn’t going to change our mind:
Investors burned by the recent boom and bust in the U.S. ethanol industry will be wary of pouring money into plants for the next generation of biofuels without more stable returns, a J.P. Morgan analyst said on Friday.
U.S. law requires that 10.5 billion gallons (40.8 billion litres) of ethanol be blended into the gasoline supply this year to reduce dependence on foreign oil imports and lower emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases.
But ethanol producers have struggled to find profits amid volatile corn prices and plunging gasoline demand and prices.
“We have a real dilemma in the industry,” Ann Duignan told the U.S. Agriculture Department’s annual outlook forum.
“As long as nobody’s making money, the industry is not viable long term regardless of a mandate.”