President Donald Trump has declared that the world oil crisis has passed. My hope is that Congress, at some point, will remove the requirements for gasoline additives, especially for the corn-based bio-fuel ethanol.
One of the advertised advantages of bio-fuels is that they dont emit any additional CO2. This is clearly untrue. Much energy is spent in collecting the corn and disposing of waste. But most of the energy is required to do the distillation; the heat is usually supplied by fossil fuels. Anyway, bio-fuels are no longer needed in view of the ready availability of shale oil.
There is no longer any fear of running out of oil. The fear of oil supplies peaking in the near future no longer exists; peak oil is dead.
With the mandate for expensive ethanol removed, gasoline at the pump would become much cheaper, and so will all food, especially beef, which reflects the price of feed corn.
Of course, farmers in the Midwest would like to keep their corn bonanza going. Ethanol now consumes most of the nations corn harvest, but farmers can grow other crops, or perhaps cut down on their use of marginal farm land.
Removing the ethanol burden would cause a tremendous upheaval. But the average consumer would gain many economic benefits and increase his prosperity. So it becomes a political problem that a future Congress must address, perhaps after the midterm elections in November.
Prices for farm land may drop, but all consumers will benefit from lower prices on gasoline and food.
President Trump hinted at the removal of miles-per-gallon requirements. With MPG standards out of the way, cars can be made safer, using stronger steel instead of lighter aluminum. Chrome trim may come backa dubious benefit. But car bumpers can be made stronger again and provide real protection for the riders, dropping sky-high auto insurance rates.
All these consumer benefits wont arrive overnight, but the market will win out in the end, as it generally does. President Trump has taken the first step by officially declaring that the global oil crisis has passed.
|Atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, and former founding Director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. He is author of Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warmings Unfinished Debate (The Independent Institute).|
Distinguished astrophysicist S. Fred Singer explores the inaccuracies in historical climate data, the limitations of attempting to computer climate models, solar variability, the effects of clouds, ocean currents, and sea levels on global climate, and factors that could mitigate any human impacts on world climate.