Pumping Us Up

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Most people know they’re paying a lot of taxes every time they buy a gallon of gasoline.

Proportionately, few taxes are more regressive than motor fuels taxes – which currently amount to about 35 percent of the per gallon cost of gas (roughly, 50 cents in federal and state taxes on each gallon, which currently sells for a little over $2).

But there is a another tax on motor fuels which very few people even know exists that also dips deep into their pockets.

It is the federal mandate that each gallon of gas sold contain a certain percentage (currently, 10 percent) of so-called “renewable” fuels. This being chiefly ethanol alcohol, which is made of corn. About 40 percent of all the corn grown in the United States is not used to feed people or animals. It goes toward mandated-by-government ethanol production, which is then force-fed to American drivers every time they fill up.

This corn con is one of the greatest boondoggles in existence – hugely profitable to the companies which make this product no one really wants – but which they government requires them to buy.

Ethanol is touted as “renewable,” which is true. It is also grossly inefficient. Ethanol contains less energy per gallon than gasoline, so your car’s engine has to burn more of it to go a given distance. It is one of the reasons why modern cars – notwithstanding all their technological advances – don’t get get particularly good gas mileage.

Back in the ’80s, many cars achieved 40-plus MPG on the highway – even though they didn’t have the advantages of modern engine technology. But they did have the advantage of 100 percent gas – not 10 percent ethanol-adulterated “gas.” 

Ethanol-laced fuel also costs more to blend.

Which brings us to the other tax – intimately tied up with the Renewable Fuels Standard – which established ethanol production quotas (very much like affirmative action quotas) back in 2005  – and expanded greatly under President Obama. 

These are called Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) and amount to another quota – only this time, it’s a mandate to produce a given volume of “renewables” (chiefly ethanol) before the final product – E10 – is finally sold to motorists. These production quotas affect refiners, distributors and sellers of the fuel – who inevitably pass on the costs they bear to motorists.

But here’s where it gets even shadier.

In order to meet the federal government’s “renewable” mandates, renewable fuels credits can be bought and sold – without necessarily making or even selling any actual fuel, renewable or otherwise.

These credits are called RINs – the acronym standing for Renewable Identification Number. They were ostensibly created to make sure the Renewable Volume Obligations were met; that everyone making/selling fuel participated proportionately in the mandatory renewable fuels program.

But in practice, it works very much like carbon credits – another crony capitalist con – which force car companies to either manufacture a certain number of “zero emissions” electric cars or buy carbon credits from an electric car company that does make “zero emissions” electric cars.

Just so, smaller refiners and independent stations are effectively forced to buy RINs from national operations, including big box retailers like Wal-Mart – which often have their own in-house blending operations – or can easily buy them.

The smaller operations don’t have the facilities to blend in the renewables themselves – and thus, cannot comply with the EPA’s arcane “point of obligation” mandate. The “point of obligation” simply means where the fuel is blended – not who actually makes the renewable additives.

This allows the big crony capitalist operations to get “RIN credit cash” merely for mixing the fuel – not actually making it. And by selling RIN credits to the smaller fry, who have no choice but to buy them, if they wish to continue selling fuel.

It amounts to legalized extortion masquerading as “environmentalism” – just like the electric car sham.

Ordinary people pick up the tab while big cartels – which can easily game the system – rake in the profits.

The big box retailers and large refiners can afford a slightly higher margin cost – due to the up-bid (by them) cost of the RINs.

The smaller outfits cannot.

They are left in the impossible position of either charging their customers more for fuel – and losing business to the big box gas station across the street – or charging less for the fuel than it costs them to sell it.

You can’t stay in business very long that way.

The key thing to bear in mind is that this isn’t free competition. It is crony capitalism. It is big, politically connected companies using the power of government to leverage an artificial advantage over their smaller, not-as-connected competition.

The renewable fuels program was sold to the public as an energy independence measure but has proved to be a motorist dependence measure. American drivers are at the mercy, not of OPEC, but the EPA – and the politically connected businesses that are gaming the EPA’s RIN rigmarole.

It’s not good for the environment – and it’s very bad for our wallets.

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113 COMMENTS

  1. There are no zero emissions cars made. All the electric cars made use dirty power plants fired by coal or natural gas. There are more emissions produced by electric cars since petrol powered cars put out cleaner air than the power plants since 1990. The electric cars will produce more air pollution than the petrol powered cars. And with fewer power plants being construed in the West, there will be a shortage of electricity for the electric cars, which will suit the governments quite well and give them a reason to “ration” the use of power. First to lose power will be the cars used by the general public, who then will have to walk to work or use pubic transport, which will take hours to arrive at work, and hours to get home. A waste of your time you see. And those electric motors use rare earth metals that are far more toxic to make (industrial sludge) than the use of coal and petrol for IC cars.

    • rust, I have made note of this several times, and people seem not concerned about it. Ethically I find the use of food as fuel to be repulsive but we are only a small minority. The rest of the population are in adoration of green government and have had their brains poisoned by flouride and hero worship.

      • Enough corn is used up for ethanol that it raises food prices, which of course hurts the poor of the entire world the worst. Since we used to export large amounts of once affordable corn. Yes, a stupid energy policy of the US hurts the poor of the entire world!

        Not only is it ethically bad, its criminal to be honest.

        • My post must have been too long since a lot of it is missing. Link is good for these numbers:
          2007 WEIGHTED CORN PRICE =$4.20 WITH 4.7B GAL MANDATEClover
          2008 WEIGHTED CORN PRICE =$4.06 WITH 9B GAL MANDATE
          2014 WEIGHTED CORN PRICE =$3.70 WITH 14.4B GAL MANDATE (& >$100 oil half the year)
          2015 WEIGHTED CORN PRICE =$3.61 WITH 15B GAL MANDATE MAXED OUT
          2016 WEIGHTED CORN PRICE =$3.40 WITH SAME 15B GAL MANDATE MAXED OUT

        • Corn ethanol works because it uses a waste stream from feed production.

          Cattle do not digest carbohydrates very well and a lot pass through the animal undigested in their manure taking other nutrients with them even.Clover

          Corn ethanol only uses and removes the carbohydrates while leaving the now concentrated feed(proteins, fats, & minerals) in tact, actually enhances them to be more digestible, more productive, and healthier.

          • That does not make corn ethanol work. Corn ethanol still takes more energy to make than what comes out of it. That’s just in the processing of the corn into ethanol, not the farming energy which is too difficult to estimate well last I knew.

            • Since it uses a waste stream of feed production it outcompetes even sugar cane in price with much lower ethanol produced per acre.

              The cost of a product includes all the energy it took to make and deliver said product to the consumer.

              E85prices.com shows it takes far more energy to make and deliver E0 to the consumer than E85.

              E85 puts out a small fraction of the toxic pollutants E0 does and has more horsepower. With high compression engines, E85 would have/could have far better mileage as well.

              With E85 more of your money goes to American workers and American businesses who pay American taxes and put it in American banks and buy goods and services that you and/or your fellow Americans produce.

              With E0 more of you money goes to Arab sheiks and transnational companies who put it in Swiss bank accounts and pay little if any in taxes.

              • I did not argue price.
                I argued energy. Corn ethanol requires more energy to produce than comes from it in use.
                Cost is a complex thing with fedgov’s subsidies, tax policies and so forth.

                Ethanol is inherently more expensive to transport because of its chemical properties.

                • I missed one thing it may or may not take more energy to get a gallon of E0 to market than E85. That’s an irrelevant figure. The correct figure is the energy balance. Corn ethanol changes the form of energy and ends up at a loss. And there is no way E85 is cheaper to transport per gallon. Pipelines for gasoline are very efficient.

                  If someone came up with a zeropoint energy device but was too big to be in a vehicle then corn ethanol would be great. Until then….

                • Price is directly correlated to the amount of energy used. They are almost one in the same.

                  The Federal subsidies for corn ethanol producers are easy, zero.

                  https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7jjiCuW0AAEdSX.jpg

                  e85prices.com shows ethanol is very cheap, most of the time >30% cheaper than E0. Transportation costs and energy cost must be much lower to achieve that especially since the big $.45/gallon Federal subsidy ended in 2011.Clover

                  Ethanol is cheap to transport, for starters it is mostly domestic and decentralized so less transportation is needed. In Brazil they have thousands of miles of pipelines. We are starting to build them here at least in Florida. Its low volatility make it one of the safest to transport and often truck or train crashes do not explode especially in winter, unlike gasoline or the fracking oil of the Bakken in North Dakota. It is able to be put out with water if there is a fire, unlike gasoline/oil. Once a shipload of ethanol exploded from an improperly vented empty gasoline compartment and the ethanol harmlessly dispersed into the ocean but the diesel oil slick from the ship’s engine fuel tank caused the ecological problems.

                  • Fletch,

                    You write:

                    “The Federal subsidies for corn ethanol producers are easy, zero.”

                    This is grossly dishonest. The renewal fuels mandate is a subsidy – exactly like the mandate that forces every car company that wishes to sell any cars in California to sell a percentage of electric cars (“zero emissions” cars).

                    Take away the RFS and the “market” for your beloved ethanol collapses, just as the electric car “business” goes bankrupt the day after the mandates are repealed.

                  • Price has little to no correlation to energy or manufacturing cost once the government gets involved.

                    When your product is mandated price is just price. Get rid of the mandate and see what happens to corn ethanol. If it is really cheaper then nothing will happen.

                    Plus the reason for the mandate, fooling carburetored cars into running leaner has long past. It’s been over 20 years. They’ve all been junked, retired to collector status, and/or had the mixture set richer by now.

            • Opps, my mistake, I meant to say that it is much cheaper to produce and deliver E85 than E0 to the consumer.

              Most often always >30% cheaper.

            • The push for ethanol is likely a counter tactic.

              The United Kingdom and friends have weaponized all the Oil Producing Kingdoms and made oil artificially overpriced.

              The United Americans are returning the favor and weaponizing all the grain producing nations to make grain artificially scarce.

              As Sun Tzu says, there’s a lot of different ways to Screw Over Thy Neighbor. And do unto him what he’s been doing unto you but at double the intensity.

              The Arab Spring was because food and other necessities became unmanageably expensive, and it was becoming difficult even to get by.

              It wasn’t much about wanting new leaders really, IMO.

            • Actually they do make ethanol from that source you mentioned.
              http://biofuels-news.com/display_news/8903/New_manure_to_ethanol_plant_begins_operations_in_California/
              Clover
              Corn has been subsidized but ethanol producers are somewhat insulated from that because if corn is cheap, then so too are the distillers byproducts but this is good for when corn is high since the distillers grains and byproducts can make up for some of that.

              Since the first 2005 energy act, ethanol if it did anything caused farm subsidies to absolutely crash:

              https://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/2790/5332/original.jpg

              Since the very aggressive 2007 energy act was passed and ethanol use and production exploded over three times, contrary to what a lot of people think and often claim, the price of corn actually fell:

              2007 WEIGHTED CORN PRICE =$4.20 WITH 4.7B GAL MANDATEClover

              2008 WEIGHTED CORN PRICE =$4.06 WITH 9B GAL MANDATE

              2014 WEIGHTED CORN PRICE =$3.70 WITH 14.4B GAL MANDATE (& >$100 oil half the year)

              2015 WEIGHTED CORN PRICE =$3.61 WITH 15B GAL MANDATE MAXED OUT

              2016 WEIGHTED CORN PRICE =$3.40 WITH SAME 15B GAL MANDATE MAXED OUT

  2. How hard would it be to distill E10 fuel into actual fuel and alcohol? I know the basic process is easy but how much effort would you have to put into not blowing up? Does it just need good seals and how hard are these to make? Asking for a friend who’s only asking because he’s writting a novel. Totally not planning to create unlicensed booze.

  3. A few other points of disaster about the Renewable Fuels Program, which I know you have detailed before:

    It takes more oil to make the blended stuff than it does to make 100% gasoline.
    The ethanol has to be motor-trucked to every point along the distribution chain, since the pipeline system isn’t able to handle the ethanol-laced stuff.
    Ethanol is a corrosive agent, and is highly poisonous.
    Ethanol is more damaging to engine components.

    Could this all be part of the government plan to move everyone to electric vehicles?

    • It would be if everybody was going to get electric cars. Most people will be left out and have no personal transportation anymore. At best probably ride sharing.

      Ethanol will only make it harder for people to maintain and keep older vehicles. After cash for clunkers, at least in my area (Chicagoland) it seemed to get a large percentage of 1990’s era cars off the road. They seemed like they were gone overnight.

    • Travis,

      There are thousands of miles of pipeline in Brazil transporting ethanol even now, I believe we have some here in the US in Florida.

      Ethanol on most any engineering chemical compatibility chart will show it equal to at worst, but most often less corrosive on rubbers, plastics, and metals than what gasoline and BTEX(benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, & xylene) are.

      Ethanol has been the nontoxic ingredient of RV antifreeze for a long time and people often consume ethanol with their meals in the form of wine. I would not try that with gasoline.

      • Consuming wine is equivalent to consuming fuel-grade ethanol? Seriously?

        Wine is 85% water by volume, only 12-15% alcohol. And while it is ethyl alcohol, it is not industrial-strength, fuel-grade alcohol. I would not try to consume any alcohol that’s made for transportation use, just like I wouldn’t dump wine or bourbon in my fuel tank. Fuel-grade ethanol is over 70% alcohol before being blended with gasoline, and is not designed to be put into any living organism.

        Alcohol draws water vapor out of the air, and allows it to condense in the fuel. This is what causes the corrosion. This might be avoidable in a closed system, but any time you open your fuel cap, water vapor is drawn in. This is why many fuel tank hoses in certain states that sell ethanol-laced fuel are required to have the plastic hose extensions over the nozzle. In addition to helping to prevent spills on the person using it, it reduces the water vapor that enters the system.

        I’m not going to debate Brazil, since I don’t work in the Brazilian chemical industry. However, I do have close relatives who work in the oil and gas pipeline industry in the United States, and I passed your comments to them before responding. Six of six said that ethanol is more corrosive to the pipeline than petroleum-based compounds. They add that it would rust the pipes from the insides if allowed to flow through for more than about five years, resulting in the need to do massive replacements on a regular basis. This would destroy the functionality of pipelines, which are supposed to operate with minimal intervention for 50-year life cycles. Having to rotate replacement of portions of the line every five years would be a disaster. Also, every manufacturer of fuel-grade ethanol states that the product is corrosive. If any of them decide that the time is right to start drinking the product, please let me know: I would like to be a witness.

        I’m not certain about the concentration of ethanol in RV antifreeze, but the wording of your statement implies it is the LONE non-toxic ingredient in RV antifreeze. Since I don’t think you meant that, I won’t debate that point.

        • I haul that ethanol crap daily (but for only a little while longer). Everyone knows that the stuff would be deadly to drink. I have little doubt that the gov goons mandate some sort of poison to be put into it so that drunks trying to score cheap liquor will die from drinking it because the alcohol tax hasn’t been paid.

  4. A handy web site to check your area for ethanol-free gas stations: https://www.pure-gas.org/

    If you are living in a big city, you might have to drive a ways to get it. I like to find the spots along the way when I vacation and bring along a 5 gallon gas can (or two) to feed the lawn equipment at home as well.

  5. Two words: Marine gas. Now a few more words. 0% ethanol but at the increase in cost of 50+ cents a gallon. That’s all I use in my engines anymore.

    • You have to be VERY careful about using any fuels not meant for sale by road vehicles. In most states, diesel and gasoline has a green dye, which indicates that the fuel taxes intended for the public highways and roads have been paid. Fuels intended for agricultural, industrial, marine, or any other off-road use, have a RED dye, because the road tax is not paid, those interests having lobbied the states and the Congress against it. If the “coppers” find non-taxed fuel in your vehicle. “Boy, you in a HEAP of trouble!”

  6. Okay. Got a question.

    I can get “ethanol free” gas. It’s costly. Given I’m willing to swallow the cost, do you know if this product is the same as the old gas (say from the ’80s as you mention), or is it different?

    • Hi Jim,

      The refining/formulas used today are different than they were 30 years ago; additive packages – in particular. But ethanol-free gas has no ethanol in it, so you don’t have the issues (corrosion, shorter shelf life) that cause problems in engines and fuel systems not designed for high alcohol-content fuels.

      Caveat: If your car’s engine was designed to burn E10, you should probably use E10, especially if it is an engine that needs high octane fuel. It is very hard to find premium ethanol-free fuel these days.

        • Fletch,

          Ethanol is alcohol and alcohol is corrosive to rubber and plastic and other parts; it attracts moisture, which accelerates internal rusting of steel fuel lines and steel tanks.

          I note here for general edification that several manufacturers of power equipment expressly warn against using ethanol-adulterated “gas” in their equipment. Similarly, there is a reason why use of E15 or E85 will void the warranty coverage of vehicles not adapted to burn “flex fuel.” Use E10 in cars made to burn gas, not alcohol-laced “gas” and you will have problems, too. If you wrench on the older stuff, you’d already know this.

          Once again, take away the federal requirement that “renewables” be force-fed to Americans and ethanol in fuel goes away like the bad dream it ought to be.

          PS: Huge difference between ethanol made from corn and ethanol made from sugar. The South American comparison doesn’t work – apples to oranges.

  7. Eric: One thing you didn’t mention is that except for expensive organic corn, you need lots of chemical fertilizer. Where do these come from? They are synthesized in big factories that require yuuuge amounts of energy & carbon, mostly from coal. A pound of corn from a modern factory farm represents 2 – 2.5 lb of coal. So a gallon of ethanol used about 30 – 40 lb of coal just to grow the corn. That doesn’t include processing.

  8. “But there is a another tax on motor fuels ” The dead soldiers from all the wars to secure the petro dollar ponzi scheme at the point of a gun.
    On a lighter note: The diesel to run the tractor, the shipping, the processing – everything involved to get ethanol into the mix – make ethanol twice as bad for the environment as plain ol gas.
    AND it seems as though our modern fuel “mix” causes any gas left standing in any bowl or tank to turn to varnish – and I swear I have seen ROCK HARD as though full of red concrete in fuel lines and carb bowls after just a few months.

    • “The dead soldiers from all the wars to secure the petro dollar ponzi scheme at the point of a gun.”
      No that would only be a tax if what they did DECREASED the price of oil, which is the opposite of the case. The increased price from US interventions in the Middle East is a tax however.

        • That’s not what he is referring to. The fact is that as Henry Kissinger once stated, ” soldiers are merely stupid pawns to be used in foreign policy.”
          The truth that all human life is valuable, yet Washington through its evil foreign policies has sent a million America men to their deaths.
          The worst being Washington’s unconstitutional and illegal wars in the middle east, all for the benefit of israel. No American should be over there murdering innocent men women and children for zionism. No American should be over there getting shot, blown up or psychologically destroyed for zionism.
          In truth no sane person should enlist in the U.S. military.
          To all parents of young people: DO NOT allow your children to enlist in the military! Keep them away from the lying, corrupt recruiters. Do not allow them to become murderers of innocent men, women and children. Do not allow them to aid and abet radical wahhabist ISIS terrorists. Do not allow them to be nothing more than instruments and victims of one U.S. foreign policy disaster after another.
          Keep them out of the military!

          • Especially, keep your daughters out of the military unless you wish to see them sexually assaulted or raped. last year alone, there were over 14,000 reported cases of sexual assault. Unless you wish to see pictures of her bathing on the internet.
            Women have no place in the military. Especially on the battle field.
            The U.S. military is no place for anyone with any moral standard.

            • If you are paying taxes, you are buying the bullets. True, you are not actually pulling the trigger, but you are paying for the trigger puller. Just a difference in degree of culpability.

                • Use your wits to aggressively avoid or minimize feeding Leviathan.

                  That’s real life NAP, fam.

                  Of course we’re all tax cucks like you here.

                  For now.

                  But isn’t it up to us to bootleg and tax cheat on the side for the children’s sake?

                  Take a risk.

                  Carpe got dam diem.

                  Der tag kommt only cause we gonnamake it kommt.

  9. In Australia you can get E85. Now that stuff is excellent. It works very well in engines with lots of turbocharged boost. More recently I tried it in an engine with much more than standard compression. It worked well in that one. Gasoline would knock and the engine would get too hot on gasoline. On the other hand E85 was perfect for it.

    All goes to show, the engine must be designed for the fuel. You can’t just adulterate a regular fuel 10 or 15% or so and expect everything to turn out AOK (cause it just won’t). So, the solution is, if you really must have alcohol fuels available, make them proper fuels. E85 works well in engines built for it and it is easy enough to have matters arranged so that your engine can be one of those (although it will not be able to use gasoline once modified). The E10 and E15 stuff is neither fish nor fowl. Avoid.

    • Yep. E85 has very high octane (anti-knock). It’s a good fuel for high compression engines with fuel systems designed to handle it.

  10. Sheetz, Inc is the worst of the gasoline companies “promoting” ethanol in my state of North Carolina. Not only is the “gasoline” (10% mandatory “splashed” ethanol) price on the big signs on the side of the road next to the gas station, but “flexfuel” 15% ethanol has now replaced the diesel price next to it on the sign. The pumps now have the three “gasoline” octane levels posted – as well as a new, yellow-colored handle pump just for the 15% ethanol price, and a new, orange-colored handle for the 25% ethanol!

    So the yuppies who bought a “flexfuel” vehicle can enjoy a lower price as the corn-based alcohol added to their gasoline burns their engines hotter with less miles-per-gallon efficiency! And think themselves morally superior to all other drivers but the Leaf owners!

    Now, I am not an alcohol-fuel basher (“Alcohol Can Be A Gas”), but people need to know that there are extreme engine and fuel design differences between “pure” gasoline (notwithstanding) and alcohol or wood alcohol. Just like the difference between diesel from a barrel of crude oil vs gasoline from crude oil. Making a fuel system and engine for ethanol is vastly different from our specially-tuned gasoline-only Rockefeller-founded engines. Car companies need to be more up-front and honest to their consumers about all types of fuel possible, and give customers choice in manufacturing – not hide it with the assistance of Uncle Sam, as well as Big Oil.

    I would love to buy an “anyfuel” engine, with a “dumb as a rock” design for the driver to not care about the kind of fuel put into their vehicle, except for the current price. But that’s not going to happen in any society on this planet any time soon. And then we go to extremes, like running on water and Joe Cells and such.

  11. This is not just a tax on motorist – but also on everyone who eats…. if such a material portion of corn produced in the US (I think the worlds largest corn producer) is pissed away in oil imagine the impact on food prices……… perhaps also a reason for the higher food inflation in the recent decades….. (again funnily enough you will never find it in the mainstream media)….

    • Nasir, a decade or so ago corn was so expensive and there was so little extra for things such as food and feed little was left for export and the price was beyond the means of the masses in Mexico that fairly much exist on corn.

      So they had riots there as tends to happen when people have nothing left to lose.

      You read all about it in the newspapers and saw it all over TV didn’t you? No? I guess the MSM forgot to run those stories.

      I recall in the 80’s they just missed all those C 130s hauling loads of drugs out of SA while Manuel Noriega was told by the US to look the other way after his military intercepted it.

      And buddies being buddies only as long as the US needs to use them in more useful manners, they threw ol Manuel under the bus to protect the gipper and keep Ollie North from having to tell the truth.

      Maybe Im the only guy to puke his guts out watching Ollie cry and proclaim his innocence. …..that musta been somebody else overseeing all that military and political malfeasance.

      • I happened o be spending some time in Mexico and Guatemala as the price of corn went to the moon and forgot to come back. I had not realised how much US corn had been exported to that area. Families were destitute because not only was the price astronomical almost overnight, but supply at any price was seriously compromised. I had some fun trying to explain the price changes, and WHY… how our stupid gummit had “decided” we need to grow corn (gummit subsidised, of course) and turn it into motor fuel… because THEY said we needed to. I got plenty of blank stares, incredulous looks, and strong contempt in return. Some wondered how our government could be so STUPID. Then I got to explain how crony capitalism and votes all work. The light did eventually come on…. Latin Americans are more than a little used to the empty hand extended, the mordita, payable on suggestion, and “la familia” infestation of government at every level. They “got it” pretty quickly. And walked away shaking their heads and wondering WHY we, with “fair” elections, put up with it. Good job those conversations weren’t taking place up HERE… I’d likely have my name on some lists I’d rather remain ignorant to my existence.

        • “…our stupid gummit…”? No, not ours, theirs, i.e., TPTB. All govt. is “their” govt.
          A “govt. or the people, by the people, for the people” was one of many, many lies “honest Abe” told.
          “Families were destitute…” because they relied on govt., because they were STUPID to believe the myth that elites can be trusted with political power. As long as people blame govt./politicians for their political problems and continue to support govt./politicians they lie to themselves, create their own hell. The masses are responsible for the creation of the monster they “love to hate”, i.e., a system of institutionalized violence. When they perceive it to be doing what they want, abet by force, to someone else, they are fine with it. When they get the shaft, suddenly they are outraged. Hypocrisy!

  12. Just think, without the taxes and mandates, we would likely be enjoying 50 cent a gallon gas. Even with our funny money.

  13. Outstanding article, thanks Eric.

    Also, let’s not forget the millions of dollars in damage done to various, usually small, engines of all kinds, that have been destroyed by Uncle Sucker’s Moonshine Mix “gasoline”.

        • Disassembled and cleaned the carb for my ’73 a while back. Put it back on and everything seemed fine. After awhile I could barely get it to run. So I bought a carb kit and finally got around to taking it apart again. The passages for the fuel to leave the fuel bowl were completely blocked with black crud. Crud too thick to have through the two fuel filters. Well, the plastic/foam float (black) is apparently dissolving. They aren’t made any more. I can find some for sale for ~$40-50. I’ll could use the original which I still have. It’s still good since it only saw a few years of ethanol before I replaced it.

  14. And remember the only reason these subsidies exist is because of the Iowa caucuses. Everyone in the Federal government is brown nosing the 1% of the population who farms just so they can crow about how well they do in Iowa, even though in the big picture Iowa doesn’t matter any more than Wyoming. Except that because Iowa is the first test of a presidential candidate the mainstream media spends months before hyping it up.

    • Hi Ready,

      Yup. The stat that 40 percent of the corn crop goes to ethanol is staggering. Think of the effect this has on food prices – leaving aside the other issues…

      • Eric, I don’t have the link cause the computer lost its modern and I dont know how to post a link with my phone but I got an email this morning with an article how Californicators in their state government have passed a $3B bailout to Tesla motor. Sweet.

        We all were taxed for every dollar Musk has and now CA residents get an added tax.

        Since Toyota owns part of Tesla they’ll get some tax booty too.

        It just gets better all the time

      • This is going to be contrarian, but I am glad that the corn prices are artificially inflated. It has moved food makers back to using regular cane sugar versus HFCS as an additive. Beginning in the 1980’s HFCS was being added to everything. The result, the average US weight has balooned by 30 lbs since 1970. I noticed chicks getting fatter than their moms in the mid 1990s when I was in Alabama. That’s messed up.

        • HFCS…… I had ondered about that. Last time I was in the USA I noticed the women were either fat or, for many, just about to blow out big time (the clue to a pending fat explosion is the upper arms- bingo wings, I believe, is the terminology- young women start to lose skin and muscle tone in the arms and that’s how you know it’s all on).

          As a French guy I met used to say, “those American girls, sexy like elephant!”

          Yuck.

          What happened? How did you let it all go so wrong.

          Sione

          • Most of the public relies upon the mass media for information. They have been trained since an early age to believe in what is presented to them and to be incurious about everything else.

            • Trevor, you have nailed it with just two sentences. Your take covers just about everything wrong with US amerika.

          • Hi Sione,

            As a recently single-again guy (after almost 20 years) I can vouch for this – the Rise of Fat – from bleak personal experience. It seems that out of every five girls, three are seriously overweight, the fourth on her way – and the fifth is an unattainable “10” who is too much work to even try to get.

        • I learned about the health dangers of HFCS some years ago, and scrupulously avoid that poison. Yes, I DO read ingredient lists. I am convinced, though, that as the health dangers became more widely known, food producers have heard their customers and gone back to cane, or at least beet. But when it says “cane sugar’ on the list, it HAS to be cane. I believe Costco were one of the leaders, ten, twelve years back nearly everything in ther ehad HFCS in it. Now, same brands offer a full line of non-HFCS products. Few products at Costco have any HFCS in them any more. They are a HUGE retailer, and do enough volume (many of their stores turn over a millioin bucks a day… every day year round!!! That is some PRESSURE. And Costco listen to their members… I personally beefed about HFCS many times, and I know others did. They DO read all those customer contact/suggestion/complaint papers we fill out. I believe it was largely due to pressure from Costco on their suppliers the trend away from the rot began. Now other mainstream stores (even Safeway/Albertsons, Kroger, WalMart/Sam’s have a selection of non-HFCS foods.

          • The big problem with HFCS and the obese person which mainly run to female since it appears they get no exercise is probably the big sodas. Gluten plays a part in that also since it’s added to practically everything including soft drinks and even beer for godsakes.

            Both ingredients are highly addictive.

            • Ten years ago I completely cut out soda and all sugary drinks.
              https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/9ea7182a-13b5-4ff7-8f68-eb4d92a1f31a_1.f255305e452cc10190e31ff244599278.jpeg?odnHeight=450&odnWidth=450&odnBg=FFFFFF

              Maybe its gonna jack up my liver some day, but so far it works 100%.

              Zero calories, but it tastes just as good as that Mountain Douche / OJ / Fruit punch and other diabetes in a can/carton shit, never once thought about going back.

              Beer is still a problem, but maybe there’s still a real scientist working on zero calorie alcohol in a gulch somewhere.

              5 Kcals per ounce of beer is the lowest I’ve found anywhere yet.

              Budweiser Select 55: 55 calories.
              Beck’s Premier Light: 63 calories.
              Miller 64: 64 calories.

            • Hi Eight,

              I am grateful sweet drinks (HFCS or not) are not among my vices; I mostly drink water and coffee.

              If I get diabeetus, it’ll be on account of all the chocolate I eat!

            • Hi 8,

              Minor point but gluten is not added to beer. It is there because the primary ingredient, barley, contains gluten.

              Jeremy

              • Barley or wheat, wheat especially is now all gluten and should be avoided. After all gluten is Greek for glue. Wheat has no nutritional value, it has been altered for faster growth and easy harvest, the end result is all wheat grown has no food value and in truth because it has been so altered is actually harmful to eat. It can raise your blood sugar in minutes. There is no good reason to consume any wheat products.

                • Hi John,

                  I made no health claims about gluten, just that it is not added to beer. Gluten free beers are made from grains that are free of gluten, and are generally disliked by most aficionados. Gluten can be mostly removed from beer by adding an enzyme that breaks down the gluten and then, when a fining agent is added, will drop out of suspension. Gluten removed beers are very similar in taste to normal beer but, while very low in gluten, are not gluten free.

                  Jeremy

          • Sucrose is just as bad for you as fruticose. Not worse, but as bad. The problem is sugar is in everything that is processed. I cut way back on processed foods about 2 years ago, opting for a mostly vegan diet to lose weight. I also started reading nutrition labels and weighing foods. While on the diet I went through withdrawal from not having sugar on a daily schedule. I also lost about 70 pounds in 6 months. And after a while I found out that sweet corn really is sweet, like candy.

            I’ve since added meat and even some sugar back into my diet, but I have to be very careful with sugar. It is SO easy to fall back into that trap and it is everywhere. It’s one area where I struggle with the free market because at one level by adding sugar the producers are just trying to make their product more desirable to the market. But it does cause harm in a lot of ways and really leads to a mild addiction. Ignoring the industry’s practice of rent seeking, of course.

            • Hi RK,

              “It’s one area where I struggle with the free market because at one level by adding sugar the producers are just trying to make their product more desirable to the market.”

              The dramatic rise in sugar consumption in the US is primarily due to the government’s reckless and unethical decision to “declare war on fat”. George McGovern headed the United States Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. McGovern was an ardent believer in the lipid hypothesis and the conclusion the committee would reach was pretty much certain. In the face of strong criticism from numerous researchers who correctly pointed out that the existing evidence was not nearly strong enough to make dietary recommendations based on the lipid hypothesis, McGovern quipped, “unlike scientists, we politicians don’t have the luxury of waiting until all the evidence is in”. In response, one of the researchers stated that creating the dietary guidelines amounted to an unethical experiment, conducted on hundreds of millions of people.

              The lipid hypothesis became official dogma and research became almost entirely restricted to those attempting to support the hypothesis. Dissenters were shouted down, mocked, declared dangerous and denied access to funding. Essentially, nutrition research has been a long series of self interested confirmation bias for decades.

              Of course, the market will produce what people desire. Prior to the successful demonization of fat, people did desire sugar, just not nearly as much of it as now. The people, convinced that fat would kill them, demanded low fat products, and the market responded. Of course, people still wanted food that tasted good, thus sugar became the dominant fat replacement. It is important to note that, outside of a few dissenters, most notably John Yudkin, sugar was considered, at worst, an empty calorie. Yudkin’s career was essentially destroyed by the anti fat crusaders, headed by Ancel Keys.

              Of course, the market is not blameless. But, they were responding to a hysteria created by arrogant and reckless government policy. Yudkin believed that sugar was far worse than an “empty calorie” and that it was the likely cause of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Given what has happened since the “war on fat” was declared, he was probably right.

              Kind Regards,
              Jeremy

              • Jeremy, the one thing cancer(oh my liver ) needs is sugar. I’m well aware you know this but I had to point it out.

                Had a round with the b&c this morning about processed foods and carbs (bread). Can’t help it I love bread but can live without it eating other things.

                I’d eat lots more wild hog if I could catch them.

                People seem to think wild pig is the same as the pork you buy at the store. Very little comparison between the 2.

            • RK, sugar is the cheapest ingredient to add to food, plus the sugar industry has a very strong lobby group. Sugar is the next tobacco.

        • It’s occurring. Where I live in Northern Michigan there are even more fat, obese girls than ever. Boys as well. I’ve seen some kids maybe 8 or 9 grossly overweight. HFCS are not the only culprit though, the diet with way too much wheat products is also too blame.

      • Which, IF it were a function of a FREE market, wouldn’t be an issue. But the market is anything but free. Did you mention tax credits and outright Federal subsidies paid to corn producers at all levels, including the billions that ADM rakes in?

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