In a recent interview, Charlie Drevna of the National Petrochemical Refiners Association made this comment about today’s ethanol market: “With the failure of a number of ethanol facilities and even their corporate entities last year, it's becoming even more apparent that the RFS (Renewable Fuels Standard) never was a good policy to begin with, and that efforts to prop up those businesses with decades of federal subsidy were essentially for naught.”
Given the fact that a number of oil refineries have also recently declared bankruptcy, I wonder if Charlie thinks using gas in our cars is bad policy too? What about the efforts to prop up those refiners by spending billions of unreimbursed defense dollars to get their oil products imported from the Middle East and other similarly bad places? Frankly, that seems like an easier case to make. If you’re looking for bad policy, how about the unwritten policy that sends hundreds of billions of hard-earned U.S. dollars to other countries to pay taxes and create jobs there rather than here?
But more importantly, some of you are thinking, “Refinery bankruptcies? Huh?” It’s true. Refineries many times larger than even the largest ethanol producers have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the past few months, and many other refineries are cutting back production – yet we don’t read or hear a thing about it in the media.
Posted by RL, 1/26/09