Thursday, August 31, 2006

Corn ethanol in Ontario

The central planners have established a corn-fed ethanol plant in Ontario and it pleases the corn producers.

"The more ethanol plants we have, the better for corn producers," said Alexandria-area grower Robert Massie who'll begin expanding his corn acreage next year. "The plants will create more demand."

But wait...because of massive US subsidies for corn, Ontario producers can't compete. US subsudies created this problem, so how do we fix it? How about more subsidies!?
Massie, Glengarry County representative on the Ontario Corn Producers' Association, insisted there should be government incentives for processors to buy Ontario corn ahead of subsidized U.S. imports, which are causing Canadian growers to compete below the cost of production.

What if consumers want ethanol-blended gas at the lowest possible price? After all, they did pay for the ethanol plants with their tax dollars. Why should they pay more?

Well, that is the problem right there. We've propped up the ethanol industry with tax dollars already. It would be a waste if those plants can't compete and they shut down. So we must subsidize them more.

Monkland area grower Paul Vogel agreed, demanding an "Ontario First" policy when it comes to corn purchases by an increasing number of ethanol projects attracted by government grants.

"Taxpayer dollars are going into these plants." Vogel said. "There should be no imports permitted until after all the Ontario corn has been sold at fair market value."

I'm reminded of the commentary we wrote last week about Ignatieff's goofy enviro plan.

"Mr. Ignatieff’s subsidy game is corporate welfare by another name. Mr. Ignatieff promises to “protect” Canada’s biofuels industry from subsidized U.S. competition. That “protection” can come in two ways: biofuel producers will be forever propped up by direct government subsidies or Canadians will be forced to “buy Canadian.” Either way, consumers pay more. "


Farmer Joe said...

And lets not forget about the tariffs.

Both the US and Canada have tariffs in place to keep cheaper South American ethanol out of our marketplace's.

So we are supposed to believe that this is all about the environment, seems like its got a lot more to do with transfering wealth around.

And take a look at the evaporation rate on ethanol, it's higher than regular gasoline which means that more hydrocarbons(re:CO2)get released into the atmosphere. Which is what we are supposed to be trying to reduce.

I think I need a drink, pass that corn based moonshine over here for awhile.

Coach Dennis said...

Great, just what we all needed -- more subsidies to the agricultural sector. The dirty little secret of ethanol is that it will never be able to make a significant dent in the fuel demands of North Americans, and will require massive subsidies even to gain a foothold.

If the alleged goal is conservation, then why should we be subsidizing fuel consumption of any kind? A smarter use of tax dollars would be better public transit in large urban centres, thus lowering dependency on vehicles.

The marketplace is already doing a good job in altering the driving habits of North Americans, hence the plummeting sales of SUVs and big trucks. Let the marketplace continue to do its job, and we won't need big brother coming in with a harebrained scheme that is destined to fail.

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