[permaculture] Ethanol fuel, gas prices, food prices, deforestation

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Sun Jun 17 14:06:08 EDT 2007

Interesting piece of news. Now gas prices will stay high, food prices will go up, deforestation will increase
and gmo pollen & pest control chemical pollution from the growing of gmo crops will increase. How exactly is ethanol 
fuel used? Many vehicles with rubber o-rings, seals and gaskets would probably be at risk from high alcohol-content road 
fuel. How do they deal with that? - LL
Gasoline refinery expansions scaled back

By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 7 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - With Congress and the White House pushing to increases the use of ethanol, the oil industry is scaling back 
its plans to expand refineries — which could keep gasoline prices high, possibly for years to come.

President Bush has called for a 20 percent decline in gasoline use by 2017 and the Senate is debating legislation for 
huge increases in the use of ethanol as a motor fuel. So, oil companies see a growing uncertainty about future gasoline 
demand and less need to increase refinery capacity to make more gasoline.

A shortage of refineries frequently has been blamed by politicians for the sharp price spikes in gasoline.

This spring, refiners, hampered by outages, could not keep up with demand and imports were down because of greater fuel 
demand in Europe and elsewhere. Despite stable — even sometimes declining — oil prices, gasoline prices soared to record 
levels and remain well above $3 a gallon.

Consumer advocates maintain the oil industry likes it that way.

"By creating a situation of extremely tight supply, the oil companies gain control over price at the wholesale level," 
says Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America. He argues the refining industry "has no interest in creating 
spare (refining) capacity."

Only last year, the Energy Department was told that refiners, reaping big profits and anticipating growing demand, were 
looking at boosting their refining capacity by 1.6 million barrels a day, a roughly 10 percent increase.

But oil companies already have scaled those expansion plans back by nearly 40 percent. More cancelations are expected if 
Congress passes legislation now before the Sensate calling for 15 billion gallons of ethanol use by 2015 and more than 
double that by 2022, say industry and government officials.

"These (expansion) decisions are being revisited in boardrooms across the refining sector," says Charlie Drevna, 
executive vice president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.|
And more waste:
Problems continue with defense contracts

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer Sat Jun 16, 3:00 PM ET

WASHINGTON - A pair of U.S. senators investigating reports of waste, fraud and mismanagement in defense contracts in
Iraq reported from Baghdad Saturday that they see some improvement but the military has a long way to go.

Sens. Claire McCaskill (news, bio, voting record), D-Mo., and Tom Carper, D-Del., were in Iraq meeting with
Pentagon officials to discuss reports of waste, fraud and mismanagement in defense contracts.

Uncountable billions of dollars have been squandered, McCaskill said, but there has been improvement in centralizing 
contracting oversight and increasing the number of fixed-price contracts containing incentives not to pad costs.

That's a departure from the early days of the war when reconstruction money and other aid to Iraq was shoveled into the 
country with little oversight.

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