The fossil fuel and agrochemical corporations, industries and countries never stop, and can’t let themselves stop, putting out stories and manipulating information to ensure their own survival and their future prosperity.
There is so much fake news they put out – I don’t know where to start – and then maybe I might get berried in the rubbish and get nowhere???
Which is fake and which is not?
This is not fake.
The working paper prepared by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department estimated that, in 2017, global fossil fuel subsidies grew to $5.2 trillion, representing 6.5 per cent of combined global GDP. May 13, 2019
from the Guardian Big “oil attacks ethanol industry with misleading claims
For the second time in 90 years, the oil industry is seeking to prevent the emergence of a more sustainable alternative
A battle that has been fought for more than 90 years has erupted again in the US, with the American Petroleum Institute (API) accused of seeking to kill off the re-emerging ethanol industry.
The API recently rolled out an aggressive new campaign called “Fuel for Thought”, calling on lawmakers to set limits on the amount of ethanol and other renewable fuels that can be blended with gasoline.
The campaign makes sweeping claims that ethanol, or at least too much of it, is bad for the economy, bad for the environment and even bad for cars. These claims are already causing controversy and are staunchly denied by leaders in the ethanol industry who say that the API is simply trying to kill off the competition so they can retain their long held monopoly on transportation fuel.
The battle between the two fuels dates back to the prohibition era
when gasoline took over from ethanol as the main fuel used to run
cars. The first car Henry Ford ever built was designed to run on pure
ethanol and in 1906, when the liquor tax was repealed, Ford declared
that ethanol was the fuel of the future.
But his idea was effectively killed off by 1920 when Standard Oil founder John D Rockefeller got the temperance movement to ban the manufacture of alcohol for any purpose. So the ethanol fuel industry died in its infancy only to come back to life again in 2005 when the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Programme was established.
The RFS programme mandates that every gallon of gasoline must be blended with a certain percentage of renewable fuels. It was signed into law by President George W Bush, who cited national security concerns and the need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil as his main motivation. Creating more American jobs was also advanced as a reason to nurture the ethanol industry, which last year supported 383,000 direct and indirect jobs.
As a result of the mandates established under the RFS, almost 95% of
gasoline sold at pumps today contains 10% ethanol (E10) and in June of
last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorised the
sale of E15, a blend that contains 15% ethanol.
Until recently most of the ethanol that is on the market has been
produced from food crops, usually corn. This “first generation” fuel
has drawn a lot of opposition, however, because of its environmental
impact and because of the argument that using crops for fuel drives up
So the industry has been working hard to develop second and third generation fuels such as cellulosic ethanol made from biomass, which is a much cleaner and more sustainable form of the fuel than its corn-based counterpart.
Three major corporations, Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels, Dupont
Industrial BioSciences and Abengoa Bioenergy have broken ground on new plants that will produce millions of gallons of cellulosic ethanol in the next few years. These industry leaders credit the RSF mandates with making this technological leap possible.
“There would be no market for cellulosic ethanol or other advanced
biofuels without those mandates,” says Jan Koninckx, Global Business
Director for DuPont. “Of course the API want the mandates repealed
because they know that as the production capacity for clean fuels
increases, their monopoly is under threat”.
Indeed it does not seem coincidental that the API is stepping up their
anti-ethanol campaign now just as the food versus fuel argument is
losing its legs and just as a much cleaner and more sustainable form
of the fuel is on the cusp of commercialization. It’s also interesting
to note that neither of these facts gets a mention in the API’s “fuel
for thought” campaign. Instead, the campaign focuses on the same
tired arguments about food prices, pollution and new misleading claims
about engine damage.
One of the first “fuel for thought” ads features a car mechanic, who claims that in addition to causing pollution and driving up food prices, ethanol is simply bad for cars. He warns motorists that even the American Automobile Association (AAA) says “too much ethanol could cause engine damage that’s not covered under warranty.” The ad ends with the mechanic saying more ethanol is good news for him as he slides under a car engine allegedly damaged by too much renewable fuel.
This is a highly misleading claim, however, not least because the ad
was not even endorsed by AAA. Michael Green, a national spokesperson for the organisation told me that AAA did not authorise API to use their brand and that AAA supports the development and use of ethanol and alternative fuels.
They do have some concerns about the sale of E15 because motorists
need to be made aware that the higher blend fuel is not suitable for
all car engines. These concerns have been addressed by the EPA,
however, which has performed rigorous tests on the fuel and approved
its use for all light duty motor vehicles manufactured since 2001 and
for light and medium duty passenger vehicles and light duty trucks
manufactured since 2007.
The EPA has also stipulated that manufacturers selling the fuel must have a “misfueling mitigation plan” in place to minimise the potential for E15 to be used in vehicles for which it is not suited.
False and misleading as these claims are, the API is still determined
to use them to get the RFS mandates repealed. Last month, the API took
their campaign to the house of congress, which held two days of
hearings on the issue and there may be more hearings in the Senate
later this month. It’s unlikely that a repeal of the Act would survive
a vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, never mind the president’s veto power.
The biofuel industry fears, however, that the API will succeed in muddying the waters about advanced fuels enough to turn off potential investors. “This may be their ultimate goal,” says a spokesperson for DSM. “API need to create confusion about cellulosic ethanol now if they can, because we think that once it comes pouring out of the new plants, the game will be over”.