I would like to explain how Ben Howe (Redstate) and Jazz Shaw (Hotair) really are ignorant regarding their articles complaining about natural gas based ethanol being included in the renewable fuel standards.
They simply do not have a clue and are both playing pied piper to those ignorant of such processes and reason for their use.
Synthetic ethyl alcohol (ethanol) has been around and in use for DECADES. It is made by converting ethane or ethylene. It is in most mouthwashes (it’s cheaper than that from fermented organic matter such as corn) and can be found on the label as SD alcohol.
Fuel oxygenates have been around since at least the 1970’s and used as a replacement for tetra ethyl lead in lower grades (regular and mid grade) gasoline. MTBE was the most effective and least expensive of these until it was banned for supposedly contaminating soil. THAT is what put corn based ethanol into the driver’s seat as a replacement.
Including ethanol made from “natural gas” only busts the RFS wide open, and severely lessens that industry grip on ALL elected officials in “red states.”
BTW, I took down and liquidated a synthetic ethanol plant in Carson, CA in 1992. It was owned by Shell Chemical at its Shell Oil Refinery there. It took the ethane produced during by the cat cracker and supplied “Scope” with all of its SD Alcohol. The process was not new, and the plant was built in the 1950’s, upgraded significantly in the 1980’s producing 198 proof alcohol BEFORE dehydration. Some of the pressure vessels for storing the ethane were built before 1900.
The VAST majority of bloggers are only writers who get fed info by special interest groups. When it comes to processing technology they cannot tell the difference between a pipe and a pump and cannot understand the actual economics, AT ALL, other than what is spoon fed to them, regardless of political ideology. It is wise to pay close attention to the very few who actually know what they are writing about.