Category Archives: Environmental Protection Agency

Corn Producers Pressure EPA To Rule Against Environment

  Issue 116 – Corn Producers Win Ruling

Introduction...”The closest thing to earthly eternal life is a government program,” President Ronald Reagan.

EPA Abandons Changes…The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) backed away from series of proposed changes the biofuels policy amid backlash from corn-state lawmakers worried that the movies would reduce demand for biofuels.  This according to a letter from the agency to lawmakers as seen by Reuters.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a letter dated October 19 that the agency will keep renewable fuel volume mandates for the next year at or above proposed levels, reversing a previous move to open the door to cuts.

This EPA about-face is a big win for the biofuels industry and lawmakers from corn-states like Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois.

The White House issued a statement hours after the Pruit letter was delivered to lawmakers expressing support for maintaining the renewable fuel plan.

In conclusion...The justification for this government give away, we’re told is that it would reduce pollution.  However, cars are already 95% cleaner than they were in 1970, so there is no real befit here.  Noting in the EPA change of heart had any consideration for “Environmental Protection.

References: Time To Cut Ethanol? “EPA abandons changes to biofuel program, dealing  a blow to oil refiners and boosting corn states,” REUTERS, 20 October 2017

Time To Acquire Salt Water Disposal Properties?

Salt Water Disposal Wells Trucks Delivering Saltwater

Some oil producers are trying to sell parts of their lucrative saltwater disposal businesses in effort to raise cash due to low crude prices.

Many oil companies rely on outside contractors, which tend to be small, privately-held companies, to inject their salt water by product of oil production thousands of feet deep into the earth below the water table.

But for some producers which own such facilities, the high margin business,  also makes them appealing to investors seeking  high yields.

Putting such businesses up for sale suggests that some energy executives are coming under increasing pressure to part with good, albeit non-core, assets to ride out the crude market slump.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency figures show more than 9.5 million barrels of brine and other liquid byproducts get pumped into 28,000 saltwater disposal wells around the country.

Disposal fees range from 25 cents to $1 per barrel generating hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue for investors.

The volume of water extracted along with oil tends to increase as wells age, in some cases reaching as much as five barrels for every barrel of crude produced.  This may be a factor of why rates for saltwater disposal wells has held steady even as crude prices have tumbled.

So, is it time to acquire salt water disposal properties?  Maybe.

Source: Oil Producers Try Selling Parts of Salt Water Disposal Businesses, Oil And Gas Investor, September 11, 2015

Ethanol…Increase Or Decrease Emissions

SciCheck Dueling TV ads are running heavily in Washington, D.C. Those against claim the federal ethanol mandate “doubles greenhouse gas emissions.” At the same time, the ethanol lobby says that “the oil industry is lying” and the mandate will lead to lower emissions.

 A 2011 report by the National Research Council, part of U.S. National Academies, found the matter is under review by the Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog.

In fact, the ethanol lobby misleads viewers by suggesting that only “big oil” is apposed to the mandate when several environmental groups oppose it as well.  Other coalition owners include restaurant owners concerned with the upward pressure on food prices and boat manufacturers are upset about the problem ethanol causes marine engines.

The heavy lobbying is taking place in advance of the November 30 deadline for the EPA to finalize requirements fo total volume of ethanol to put into gasoline.

National Research Council: [A]ccording to EPA’s own estimates, corn-grain ethanol produced in 2011, which is almost exclusively made in bio refineries using natural gas as a heat source, is a higher emitter of GHG than gasoline.

Former Vice President Al Gore has called the federal requirement for adding corn-based ethanol to gasoline “a mistake.” In a 2010 address in Athens, Greece, Gore said he had come to conclude that burning ethanol had helped increase food prices, and that he had erred in backing the requirement as a presidential candidate in 2000.

Is the EPA’s new regulations to increase, decrease, or keep the Ethanol mandate requirement as it has in the past?  Chcek in a few days to see if we will have a footnote to this report.

Source: Ethanol: Higher Emissions or Lower?, by Brooks Jackson, November 23, 2015

The Problem With Feel Good Legislation

Train Derailed Leaked Ethanol Into Mississppi RiverThe Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel be used by the year 2022.  This feel good legislation, while born out of good desire to be energy independent, was based on bad science.

The success of the Brazil’s experiment with sugarcane ethanol was one of the case studies used to validate the U.S. to mandate corn-based ethanol.  The problem for the U.S. is that sugarcane ethanol has an energy balance of seven times greater than corn.

E.P.A. studies have also shown that ethanol has increased smog in many U.S. cities and the net production of energy greater than the energy to grow, harvest, and convert corn into ethanol is a breakeven, maybe.

One study from several years ago said if the entire world converted to just one-half the U.S. standard of 10% ethanol, the world would have to double its agriculture production.

On November 7, 2015 five tanker cars of a BNSF Railway freight train derailed in Alma, Wisconsin and is now  leaking ethanol into the Mississippi River.   I’ve been to Alma many times and it is one of the most spectacular views along the Mississippi River.

In conclusion…Renewable energy is a wonderful goal, but let’s use good science and common sense.  And finally, ethanol is toxic and can cause poisoning if enough is ingested.  Maybe the idea of burning corn should be repealed and sounder solutions found.

The Water Contamination By Fracking Myth


The Myth Has Been Disproved

Yale researchers have confirmed that hydraulic fracturing – also known as “fracking” – does not contaminate drinking water.

The process of extracting natural gas from deep underground wells using water has been given a bad reputation when it comes to the impact it has on water resources but Yale researchers recently disproved this myth in a new study that confirms a previous report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted earlier this year.

After analyzing 64 samples of groundwater collected from private residences in northeastern Pennsylvania, researchers determined that groundwater contamination was more closely related to surface toxins seeping down into the water than from fracking operations seeping upwards. Their findings were recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Researchers from Duke University also recently gave people a reason to trust fracking companies. In a study published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, scientists explained that hydraulic fracturing accounts for less than one percent of water used nationwide for industrial purposes. This suggested that the natural gas extraction processes are far less water-intensive than we previously thought.

It’s hoped that these studies will help people better understand the safety of fracking.

In conclusion, underground drinking water contamination myth has been disproved by the Yale researchers which confirmed a previous report by the Environmental Protection Agency.