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We can’t repeal the laws of nature

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Not content with two budget busting measures — extensions of tax cuts and unemployment benefits — in its latest compromise bill, Congress has included billions for ethanol from corn and cellulose.  

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Corn-based ethanol blenders will receive about $6 billon in 2011 for blending the 12.6 billion gallons mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007(EISA). This is more than the market can use which led to EPA’s unpopular permission for blending 15% ethanol in gasoline.  EISA also requires 250 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2011. That has been lowered to 6.6 million by the EPA, as there are no effective production facilities for that product.

We have a Congress that has mandated more of one biofuel, corn ethanol, than the market can consume, and it has mandated 35 times more of a second biofuel, cellulosic ethanol, than industry can supply. 

The Minnesota Legislature has enacted a similar energy pipe dream, requiring Xcel Energy to get 25 percent of its energy from wind in 2020. Texas has three times the wind capacity of any other state. It is forecasting 1 percent of Texas electric grid power from wind through 2015.

Passing legislative laws is easy. Repealing the laws of nature and physics is not so easy.

Rolf Westgard

Deerwood

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