Good Intentions Leading to Bad Policy – The Ethanol Quagmire

The American Petroleum Institute this week filed suit against EPA, seeking to overturn the agency’s renewable fuel standards that require 10% of gasoline to be blended with biofuel or ethanol, made from grass, wood chips, corn and other plant materials.  This is one of those requirements DCF 1.0with many detractors and odd bedfellows, that is opposed by not only oil and gas, but by conservative and environmental groups as well.  As John Upton over at Grist points out, only the ethanol lobby seems to like it.  While environmental groups oppose it on environmental grounds, CEI and Cato have long argued that federal subsidies for ethanol should be phased out, as ethanol harms fuel and food prices.  And there simply isn’t enough of it to provide a steady cost-effective supply to blenders.  The blended ethanol fuels, e.g., E10, are also causing havoc with drivers, whose engines may not tolerate the ethanol.  AAA has cautioned drivers about the potential for damage to vehicles and voided warranties. Continue reading

You can’t handle the truth!

Or so suggests the actions of apocalyptic-leaning scientists and environmentalists who continue to seek to shape public opinion on the issue of anthropogenically-caused climate change.  As an admitted cautious skeptic – open to changing my views based on credible science and a weight of evidence approach – I have been critical of both alarmists and deniers for the way in which the facts have been distorted and, in some cases, fabricated to support a political agenda.  However, with a newly leaked draft report by the IPCC that suggests solar activity could be contributing to the warming, I’d argue that many climate scientists can’t be trusted to tell the truth.  As I’ve argued previously in this blog, the failure to pursue the truth on such a complex issue, regardless of where those facts lead us as a society, does grave damage to the credibility of science and to society at large if we are to rely upon sound science to inform our laws and policy decisions. Continue reading