Resistance Begins at Ohm!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Two things really tick me off - energy related

So, Obama's ethically squeaky clean "Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy," Cathy Zoi has been hired by none other than George Soros to run his new investment fund. The fund? To "leverage technology and business model innovation to improve energy efficiency, reduce waste and emissions, harness renewable energy, and more efficiently use natural resources, among other applications."
Of course, the green energy boom is totally subsidized by government spending. And if that doesn't make you stand up and take notice, guess what the ethically unconflicted Ms. Zoi's husband does? He's an executive at a window company, Serious Windows, which the White House regularly held up as a "poster child of green industry."
The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota put it this way: ... "now Zoi has left the Obama Administration and will go back to work making an honest living in the private sector, where she can put all the knowledge she gained from working for the Department of Energy to work for the private equity firms."
Ummm, yeah. Honest. *sigh* source:
Item Two:
I still maintain that fuel prices actually led to the mortgage crisis as people were unable to afford their energy (heat, air, transportation, and consequent 20%+ increase in food prices). So, with crude pushing $119 today because of the uproar in the middle east, combined with the demonstrable utter absurdity of using corn for fuel (takes more energy to make it into ethanol than you get out of it in a combustion engine, not enough farm land to replace oil with corn anyway), you would think the US might rethink this dumb requirement (min 10% ethanol in auto fuel). 
This is another example of picking winners and losers. With an election in 2012, and Iowa being one of the first primaries, you can't expect the best interests of the many will prevail over the interests of a few industrial corn farmers. Not from either party.
So, don't count on any corn chips for your salsa next super bowl.  Tea party? Maybe a tortilla revolution?

US warns extreme food prices will stay inflation would surge in the second half of this year as wholesale prices filtered through the supply chain, affecting consumers. 
Mr Glauber [USDA chief economist] forecast that the heavily subsidised US ethanol industry’s demand for corn would continue to grow in spite of higher input costs, consuming about 36 per cent of the domestic crop.
[emphasis mine]
The ethanol industry has been criticised for driving food prices higher. But Tom Vilsack, US secretary of agriculture, ruled out any change in US ethanol policy. “There is no reason for us to take the foot off the gas,” said Mr Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa, a state in the US corn belt.
Analysts said the USDA forecasts for production, demand and stocks for the 2011-12 season and Mr Vilsack’s affirmative comments about ethanol meant agricultural commodities prices could surge even higher this year. “No pullback for agricultural commodities,” said Richard Feltes, a respected grain analyst with RJ O’Brien brokers in Chicago. “The speech [of Mr Vilsack] should be alarming to any corn consumer.”

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