Ethanol Boom, Rising Prices Divide Corn Lobby
By Mr Ethanol | September 14, 2007
As a chief advocate for corn farmers around the country, Rob Litterer will be working the halls of Congress this fall to push for increased ethanol production. But he’s facing stiff opposition from what on the surface seems an unlikely source — the farm lobby.
The burgeoning ethanol industry is creating a wave of prosperity for rural towns throughout the Midwest, but the energy bonanza is also pitting farming groups on separate sides of the fence.
Corn farmers are pushing for more ethanol production as the industry creates an enormous new market for their crop, giving corn prices the kind of lift they haven’t seen in years. But the corn farmer’s win is the hog farmer’s loss. Meat, dairy, and other food producers are pushing back against the ethanol boom as higher grain prices cut into their already slim profit margins.
So as Litterer, incoming president of the National Corn Growers Association, visits with members of Congress in coming months, he knows that meat and dairy lobbyists will be close behind, delivering the opposite message.
“There is no question they have a policy that they are opposed to an increase,” Litterer said. “But I don’t think their opposition carries any water.”
Ethanol Shifting Research to Pipelines
Posted by John Davis
Research and development efforts to get ethanol into the nation’s already-existing oil pipeline… a key issue into getting more ethanol into the nation’s gas tanks… took a step forward this week.
This story in Ethanol Producer Magazine says the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) is expanding its ongoing research and development efforts to get past the technical barriers to pipeline transportation of ethanol:
APOL President Shirley Neff said the expansion in research and development has the support of the U.S. DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
One project being expedited by the new focus on ethanol research and development is testing the feasibility of transporting ethanol blends in existing pipeline infrastructure without significant modification. The low-level blends with gasoline will be tested to see if E10, E15 or E20 can be transported without causing stress corrosion cracking in the pipeline—one of the bigger hurdles associated with fuel ethanol. Initial test results are expected within 12 to 18 months.
The AOPL has also announced it will continue its study looking at the environmental and stress conditions that causes stress corrosion cracking. Researchers are looking at lessening that problem.