Do you care where your tools are manufactured?

Page 8 of 16  
On Tue, 27 Nov 2007 19:11:39 -0600, "Leon"

for them with your taxes) add in the 20% spike in food products that rely on field corn for food stock (Beef,pork) in the last year, apply all at a weighted average in your life and you get the real cost of E85.
Frank
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Exactly, Frank
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Leon wrote:

Not the "whole story" by any stretch, Leon. See a minimal response to Frank.
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Frank Boettcher wrote:

Account for the equivalent in subsidies and tax treatment to petroleum-based production then, too, in order for it to be a more nearly level playing field.
As noted before, the increase in food costs is made much of and ascribed in the popular press as owing to ethanol production but it is not so nearly a direct correlation as that. Much is owing simply to production costs are higher owing to (gasp, hold on now, revelation coming!) higher petroleum costs -- fuel, fertilizer, chemical, irrigation costs are all petroleum based and have skyrocketed if you haven't noticed. As a simple example, it now takes almost $500 of fuel to fill the tractor which lasts only one day during planting season. It also was a lower yield year owing to weather through much of corn belt and wheat production was down drastically in all the major wheat-producing regions worldwide so stocks are down irrespective of demand.
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I'm not aware of directly paid subsidies. I was in that (oil and gas) industry for twenty years prior to joining the woodworking machinery company. Maybe I missed them.
There are tax breaks, primarily for the production of marginal wells and tertiary recovery, but they are not directly paid subsidies, require profitability to be relevant (not always the case) and some depletion allowances that, I believe, are only available to small independent producers. The big incentives ended in 1974.

was it?
USDA Forecasts Record-Setting Corn Crop for 2007
    
WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2007 – U.S. farmers are expected to produce the largest corn crop in history in 2007, according to the Crop Production report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Corn production is forecast at 13.1 billion bushels, 10.6 percent above the previous record of 11.8 billion bushels set in 2004.
Based on conditions as of August 1, corn yields are expected to average 152.8 bushels per acre, up 3.7 bushels from last year. This would be second highest corn yield on record, behind the 160.4 bushels per acre produced in 2004. Growers are expected to harvest 85.4 million acres of corn for grain, the most since 1933 and 14.8 million more acres than last year.
Wonder how it came out? There was plenty of water in the corn belt.
I would suggest that you graph a few things on top of each other since the incentive for E85. The price of refined diesel and other refined petreleoum products. The price of a bushel of #2 corn. The production of corn in total bushels/year. The amount of corn used for feed stock and the amount diverted to the production of biofuel. And then get a pie chart that shows the impact of energy costs as a percentage of the total price of a pound of beef. See if you still hold the same opinion
I've read a number of studies that agree with your point. "Independent" studies by organizations like the corn growers association. They're for the subsidies, imagine that. If I was a corn grower, I would be too.
Frank
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Frank Boettcher wrote:

Not as good as those early forecasts -- there was _NOT_ plenty of water in the corn belt in August thru September despite early wet springs. The end of July is about when the rains stopped.

Diesel is an input, not an output. Correlation does _not_ imply causation.
The price of a bushel of #2 corn. The

Check DOE and EIA for latest work on overall energy balance. Not funded by growers' associations.
If I were a petroleum industry maven, I'd be of your viewpoint as well.
Would you have us simply wait and rely on the oil companies to provide all without any other efforts? That seems foolish to me (see earlier note on the local natural gas production company advertising against coal-fired power plant permitting applications on implication of minimizing carbon footprint.)
IMO, a tax break indirectly is no different than a direct break. I don't argue they should be removed from public policy for the oil industry, I simply point out the actual cost differentials aren't as one-side as one might like to imply and there's a lot of infrastructure and other investment in the current petroleum distribution system that has a lot of costs that are hidden in maintaining supplies.
We're producers, but not of corn. Wheat, milo, cattle, all dryland. So far this year, no wheat drilled even; last decent rain was July 4th weekend. There will be no wheat crop on much of the dryland wheat ground next year because it's now too late even if it rained this weekend for it to make much of a crop if it were planted now and what little is in is in such poor condition it is unlikely to make. Last year was a very good-looking year early but spring storms (hail, tornados, a late freeze Easter weekend, then excessive rain through June) destroyed a very significant fraction.
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Don't know where you are but are there no varieties that can be planted on into January? In fact, our rancher was planting varieties as late as mid-January in recent years primarily to reduce the exposure to wintering geese (I never thought a gaggle of geese could pack an ag field so hard).
Karnes County, Texas received more than three times it's average annual rainfall this year, ~65 inches through the end of August. The corn was more than a month late getting in the ground and about the same late getting combined. It was iffy if it was even going to make it to combine, it just did get dry enough to allow the equipment in the field. But because of all that rain it made 84 bushels/acre vs. an average year of 40-50 bushels/acre. And, it brought $3.30/bushel, about a dollar more than previous years. And now wheat is going to be a hot commodity. About six weeks ago the price of wheat for December delivery was $9.42/bushel and that is about double a year ago. Our lessee had to go to Comfort, Texas to lock in enough seed which he intends to drill mid-December. Then he'll have a fight on his hands to keep the hogs, the sandhill cranes, and the geese from helping themselves. Until this past weekend the rains had just about quit at the end of August. But 2.5 inches this past Saturday and Sunday came at just the right time. I'd rather be lucky than good.
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NuWave Dave in Houston



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Dave In Houston wrote:

Planted, yes. Have enough warm weather, length of days and most critically moisture to make a crop? Not likely. This is SW KS where normal planting time for winter wheat is from September 1 through about October.

Most dryland corn here wasn't able to be planted until too late owing to the early wet field conditions, then after about July 1 the hot, dry winds pretty much killed the fill. The irrigated guys had some reasonable yields, but nothing like were hoping for early and ended up w/ water bills that were higher than average despite the early moisture.

Central/SE KS and OK had wet all spring until about end of June. Much wheat was lost to the Easter weekend freeze, then much of what was left that looked really, really good up to and into harvest time was either hailed out, knocked down by all the rain or simply unable to get cut owing to being too wet to thresh or even get into the field. Some guys tried bringing in rice machines for the flotation problem but most still couldn't thresh it or if could it was so wet it was docked heavily. Much that was cut only tested in the mid-50s for test weights which makes it essentially useless for anything except animal feed.
Far west had one of better yields in years -- for many in NW it was first crop in 5-7 years owing to the continuing drought conditions there. Here in SW, most had gotten enough to cut at least something through all except 2 or 3 of those, but it's been really lean here as well. Of course, you only got a good yield on what you actually had to cut -- there was a lot that didn't make it through the winter or died the previous fall before the rains started in the spring.

We had 1" over the July 4 weekend -- since then, only a few sprinkles and a couple of very light showers -- 10-15 hundredths kinda' things. Had a couple inches of dry snow last weekend after three days of 80+F temperatures w/ dewpoints in the teens and 30 mph winds to makes sure it took every bit of residual moisture we had first. They're talking this next front Fri/Sat has reasonable chances but again, it'll have to saturate the whole atmospheric column to the ground before there's a chance for anything to actually reach the ground so by the time that that happens the actual accumulations will again probably be pretty minimal.
As always, there are the occasional showers -- talked to fella' about 15 miles south of us down in OK -- he got one of them in September we got the sprinkles off of, got his wheat in and up and has cattle running on it. Said there's an area right around him about 3-5 miles wide and 8-10 long where they got that cell. Of course, they're going to have to get some more shortly or it won't last.
If we don't get some good general rains or snow and the winds keep blowing, going to be a dirty winter, enough to remind one of the 50s or even the 30s if one is that old... :(
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dpb wrote:

As I noted earlier, the wheat pricing is owing to world-wide demand and low production. You've heard, I'm sure that Australia is in 100-yr drought. KS/OK/TX panhandle was down significantly this year as well which is large part of why seed wheat is so tight -- many of the certified seed producers were also hit hard. Add to that the Russians were also short as were the South Americans.
Local markets never broke $8.50 on close -- KC was near or maybe even at the $9 mark, briefly, but we get docked pretty hard by the transportation costs out here because there's no competition to the single railroad. It's typically near a 50-cent "tax" for the 200-miles to Wichita difference, even more to major terminals.
Of course, as they say -- it could be $100/bu but if you don't have any to sell, it doesn't matter. That's going to be next year for us, it appears unless miracles happen. We'll probably just keep holding some reserve from this year and "hide and watch" to see what happens.
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I don't believe August is early for field corn. However, USDA November report is slightly better than the August forecast. Reckon that corn is in yet?

Didn't say that, just pretty much don't believe in government involvement. And I don't believe that ethanol is the answer. System 80 would have been a good start, but it was killed by the left wing wacko's in the early 70's.

I have no idea what you said there.

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Frank Boettcher wrote:

Well, "believing in" isn't the same thing as being realistic. The government _is_ involved and they're involved in a big way and will continue to be. They're just as involved in oil and agriculture as anywhere else, it's just a little more convoluted as it's been longer in the making than ethanol itself. Last I checked all the major oil producers are significant contributors to both the "ins" and the "outs" in the political process, maintain significant lobbying staffs and run tremendously expensive ad campaigns to convince the public of the wisdom of their particular choices for tax and energy policies. Right, wrong, indifferent, it's simply the way things work.

Didn't figure you would want to. Can you say Middle East oil has many ancillary costs that aren't on the books of the majors? And that's only the _most_ obvious.

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Frank Boettcher wrote: ...

And, if you'll recall, I've repeatedly agreed I don't think biofuels in general (and ethanol in particular) are "the" answer, either. I do think there's a role in a transition that is useful, however.
Given the political realities, doesn't appear as though there's sufficient political will to yet allow for new exploration in many of the currently off-limit places and even if that were to change now, it wouldn't have an effect on production for quite some time. It also doesn't do anything to improve/increase the refining capacity which, while it has grown owing to expansion efforts, is still a bottleneck. Meanwhile, if it can coincidentally pump some life into the farm economies of the central plains, that can only be, imo, _a_good_thing_ (tm).

If you're referral is to the CE "standard design" they named that, then yes, there's (yet another) place we went far wrong way back when, along with Jimmy pulling the plug on the CRBRP and stopping NRC licensing review for the proposed GE-built/financed commercial fuel reprocessing facility at Barnwell.
It _is_, otoh, heartening to note that TVA/NuStart have actually filed a formal licensing application for a new unit at the Bellefonte site in N AL (about three weeks ago, now). Of course, it's more than a little disheartening that the Bellefonte I unit sits there over 90% complete, abandoned in situ since the late 80s/early 90s along w/ the roughly 850 MWe that Rancho Seco could have been producing in CA if not for the ill-considered plebiscite orchestrated by the same groups.
Coincidentally to your energy-related background, in a former life I was NE for B&W NPGD Lynchburg. I came back to farm after 30-something years mostly generation-related engineering last 10 or so mostly for the fossil utilities at the EPRI I&C Center located at Kingston Fossil.
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Yes it is and hey, what do you know, we've reached agreement on something.

And I was with CE (Oil and Gas division) 1968-1987
Frank
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Frank Boettcher wrote:

Oh, you have no problem convincing me of the advantages of nuclear as the rational long-term choice for baseload electricity generation; it unfortunately doesn't really directly address the issue of liquid fuels under discussion here.
While more nuclear generation would, if were to replace current gas and oil-fired units, alleviate a small portion of current demand and undoubtedly make a (very short term) dent in the current price pressure if it could happen in a short time but, of course, it can't so we're still in the position of "what do we do now that can actually get done?"
...

Who we always considered (their nuc generation division, of course) a quality and fair competitor... :)
Sadly neither are still in the nuclear island marketplace leaving the field in the US to GE and circle-W. :(
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Robatoy wrote:

Damn, I agree with you. Now I need to reexamine my whole worldview.
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The energy problems will be solved soon too, as soon as the pipeline from Iraq to Haifa is built. THEN we'll have a distribution network the world can trust.
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Since you know this to be true, a compairison was made between a Prius and a Hummer. The compairison included the energy used to manufacture every component of both vehicles, the energy used to maintain and operate the vehicles through their expected life spans, and the energy used to recycle the components of the two vehicles when the vehicles were considered worn out. Because the Hummer out lived the Prius by a margin of over 2 to 1 the Prius had the disadvantage of the energy spent on building, maintaining, and disposal being increased by the same margin.
The Hummer ended up being the most ecological and effecient vehicle to produce, operate, and dispose of.

www.Zapworld.com This company has been producing electric vehicles for more than 10 years in California and has a great looking vehicle yet to come out called the Zap X. A very interesting vehicle.
Also Honda is selling a Hydrogen fuel cell car in California now.
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On Mon, 26 Nov 2007 17:13:39 -0800 (PST), Robatoy

The only problem with that is the recharge time. Currently, battery technology doesn't allow for enough use between charges, nor a fast enough charge time. Having to charge your battery for 8 horus for every 4-5 hours of use will never work and the things are so ridiculously heavy that exchanging them at a station is unworkable.

I agree that it's just not reached an efficiency that's worthwhile yet but it's a growing technology and one that's feasibly renewable.
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wrote:

Take a look at www.zapworld.com They are claiming that the technology is here now. Crusing range of 350 miles, 1 cent per mile energy cost, recharge time in as little as 10 minutes, and loads of hp. IIRC DeWalt is getting similar results from their latest batteries.
Unfortunately I can see the oil companies buying this company out and shutting the whole thing down.
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Leon wrote:

ZAP is well known as a company which is 95% hype, 5% substance. The actual products they are selling are generic Chinese electric scooters and low speed three wheel electric vehicles which are little more than golf carts. Why three wheels you might ask? Well, so that for safety regulation purposes they are considered motor cycles.
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