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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:22 PM
Original message
The bursting of the ethanol bubble.
Idaho ethanol plant to close temporarily

Pacific Ethanol Inc. will temporarily close its $120 million ethanol plant in Burley in southwest Idaho and lay off 24 of the plant's 36 employees, an official says.

Plant manager Ken Wilson told the Burley City Council on Wednesday that low gasoline prices make biofuels too expensive to compete.

"We're extremely hopeful that they can get it open again in the near future," said Burley Mayor Jon Anderson. "It's a tremendous investment in our community that they made and we'd like to see it be very successful."

Anderson said the company told city officials the closure could be as short as three weeks or much longer.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705287975,00....

Dyersville Ethanol Plant Closed?

Iowa's largest ethanol producer has filed for bankruptcy.
VeraSun currently has plants in five different Iowa cities.

Today the Associated Press reports the newest plant in Dyersville has closed indefinitely.
There are mixed reports about operations there.

Like many other farmers in Iowa Gary Edwards is worried about falling corn prices.
Edwards said, "In this area it's probably about $3.50 right now it's about half of what it was at one point."

The Jones County farmer is also the president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. He says VeraSun Energy is now dropping its signed contracts with many Iowa corn farmers, including him.
Edwards said, "We are a little disturbed by that because that could set a precedent that contracts aren't good anymore."

For more answers he called his local CO-OP to find out if VeraSun in Dyersville was buying any corn today.
Edwards said, That they are closed until further notice.
http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/34840264.html

Pacific Ethanol to close Burley plant

Despite promises of new jobs and industry, some residents say they got a raw deal

Burley's relationship with Pacific Ethanol has been turbulent and costly - and some suspect that it could be short lived.

The sentiment comes after Ken Wilson, plant manager for the ethanol production facility in Burley, told the Burley City Council on Wednesday that the plant will be closed temporarily.

He said 24 of the plant's 36 employees will be laid off.

But many residents living near the ethanol production facility said work at the plant ceased long before the announcement.

"We haven't seen any activity since they closed down for maintenance in December,"said Dennis Young, who lives on Atlantic Drive, a newer neighborhood within view of the ethanol plant. "To tell you the truth, it's been something of a problem from the get go."

Young cited a list of complaints from residents about odors, concerns about the producer's impact on city infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of dollars in incentives paid by taxpayers.

Pacific Ethanol Inc., the largest producer of low-carbon ethanol in the West, chose Burley for its plant in August 2006 - after residents of Rupert rejected a special use permit request.

http://www.magicvalley.com/articles/2009/02/26/news/top...

Biofuel plants hit road block

It's one of the newest buildings in this small agricultural town. Aligned between two city water towers, the 120-foot long biodiesel plant gleams in the sun.

But weeds have begun to encroach on the Great River Soy biodiesel plant, which produced just 94,000 gallons over two weeks before it ran out of money and closed.

It's a scene that has been repeated throughout the United States: Clovis, N.M. Nevada Mo. Hartsburg, Ill. Lamoni, Iowa. Evansville, Wis. Greybull, Wyo. Rock Port, Mo. Belle Fourche, S.D. All were supposed to have biofuels plants operating or under construction by now. None do.

Last week, another ethanol plant, in Pratt, Kan., declared bankruptcy. Prospects for another in San Pierre, Ind., have grown dim.

Hopes ran high in many small towns amid an explosive interest in biofuels and a rush to build large plants. Unseen by planners, however, was the coming spike in crop prices and a financial meltdown unlike any that America has seen since the Great Depression.

An Iowa ethanol company said last week that with money drying up, it had scrapped plans for a 110 million gallon ethanol plant in the state capital.

In Missouri alone, more than a dozen ethanol and biodiesel companies sought state regulatory approval in 2006 to recruit investors for projects in South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. Two years later, as many companies have failed or stalled as have finished their projects.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?article...


What started out as an opportunity to supplement our dependence on foreign oil, and to give farmers a profit on their corn, has become a boondoggle for most. With oil prices at the lowest levels in nearly a decade, and gasoline prices near record lows, ethanol is about as unprofitable as a John McCain t-shirt stand.


I wonder if the fucking oil companies decided to take a short term profit hit to destroy the industry?
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. They've done that kind of thing before. So have other industries.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Doesn't ethanol take more energy than it generates to produce?
So, aren't we subsidizing corn to be turned into ethanol at an energy loss WHILE corn products in grocery stores go up in price?

If these people fail, isn't that a good thing?
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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. yep
it is a scam to get big agribusiness big subsidies

and it diverts attention from developing cellulosic ethanol, which would use not corn that could be food, but switchgrass, woodchips, etc and actually augment energy supplies.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thanks. I've just started understanding a little how this has worked
so far. So, Big Agra gets our tax money in order to create hunger around the world. You have to hand it to these guys. They're not just stupid. They're evil, too.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. The petro giants get 51 cents PER GALLON in tax credits to add ethanol to gasoline
another loop hole that needs to be closed. Repuke subsidizing of industry.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. So, basically, they want a bigger tip while they take food away from us.
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Steals the water also.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. Yes, it's like evolution, only for businesses. Ethanol is a dodo business.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:15 PM
Response to Original message
8. time to say goodbye to internal combustion engines....so 1800's nt
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
9. Will food prices go down now?
With all of the corn going to ethanol, meat, dairy, etc. has gone up. It was because of the ethanol, they said, and the high gas prices, too, the transportation costs, they said.

The prices have gone down, now. The cost of food remains higher than it was in an otherwise contracting economy.

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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
10. I want ethanol to fail...
I have been ranting to all that would listen for quite a few years now... biofuels in not the answer. We are destroying our land, our environment. Production of biofuels exploits the land and is energy intensive. It is time to think seriously 'out of the box', maybe- "Alternatives to consumption"?
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Should we enlist all of the blowhards in the world to power wind generators?
Edited on Sun Mar-08-09 12:15 AM by DainBramaged
The world will never cease consumption and return to the stone age. Rethink your ideals and apply modern technology to the problem.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. no stone age...
technology provides alternatives...
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
14. I was only able to get ethanol on a regular basis when I lived in Minnesota
And I was an enthusiastic consumer of ethanol in my car (I have a Dodge that is an FFV). Even when I was driving during our move to California, once I got out of Iowa, I was unable to find E85 anywhere. It sucked.

And California, as "emmissions" aware as the state professes to be has only ONE station that sells E85. And it is in San Diego. It was opened by a Ford dealership in response to their customers' complaints that the sales force used the fact that Ford cars could use E85 as a big selling point.

I live 85 miles from San Diego, so I cannot avail myself of that station.
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