• 4 minutes Projection Of Experts: Oil Prices Expected To Stay Anchored Around $65-70 Through 2023
  • 7 minutes Oil prices forecast
  • 11 minutes Algorithms Taking Over Oil Fields
  • 14 mintues NIGERIAN CRUDE OIL
  • 51 mins How Is Greenland Dealing With Climate Change?
  • 3 hours China Car Sales Plummet: Can Musk Unshovel His Groundbreaking?
  • 14 hours "Peace Agreement" Russia vs Japan: Control Over Islands Not Up For Discussion
  • 7 hours How Much Oil Does Aramco Have?
  • 1 hour Socialists want to exorcise the O&G demon by 2030
  • 1 hour BofA Sees Oil at $35-70
  • 5 hours Venezuela continues to sink in misery
  • 1 day Solid-State Batteries
  • 12 hours Spy&State: Huawei Founder Says Firm Does Not Spy For China
  • 13 hours Oil Slide Worries Traders. *relax* This Should Get Sorted by Year End.
  • 1 day protests in Canada over pipeline
  • 17 hours China's Exports Shrink Most In Two Years, Raising Risks To Global Economy
  • 1 day WSJ: Gun Ownership on Rise in Europe After Terror Attacks, Sexual Assaults
  • 20 hours Bolsonaro Wins in Brazil
James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

More Info

The Law that Prevents Cheap Fuel for America

100 million acres of American farmland is used to grow corn, of which a third is then turned into approximately 14 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol. Yes it helps to slightly reduce the carbon emissions of US exhausts, but as a huge cost.

Steven Sterin is the president of Celanese, a chemicals company from Dallas, and claims that his company has “the best gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids technology in the world.” Celanese makes its ethanol by tearing apart and recombining the hydrocarbons found in plentiful natural gas or coal.

If it works it could be revolutionary for the fuel industry. That “if” does not depend upon science or technology, but politics.

In 2007 Washington created the Renewable Fuel Standard law which mandated petrol refineries to blend a certain amount of renewable ethanol with the petroleum. This prevents Celanese and other producers of fossil fuel based ethanol from working in the US ethanol market. Currently the RFS requires that 15 billion gallons are blended each year, but that will increase to 36 billion gallons by 2020.

In 2006 George Bush declared that cellulosic ethanol made from wood chips would be “practical and competitive within six years,” but that hasn’t happened, despite himself and Obama investing $1.5 billion into grants and loan guarantees. In fact most of the companies benefitting from the government investment, such as Range Fuels, Cello Energy and E3 BioFuels, went bankrupt, and the survivors only produce about 6 million gallons per year.

The decision to allow fossil fuel based ethanol to contribute to the RFS targets is a difficult conflict for the corn dominated ethanol lobby. They don’t want the competition from ethanol produced by cheap gas, but they do want to help cut national oil imports.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News