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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • First of all the ethanol thing is not because it makes economic sense. It is because the US government subsidizes ethanol. And then demonstrates its true priorities by putting a tax on ethanol imports. (It is much cheaper for Brazil to make ethanol from sugar than for us to make it from corn.)

    Secondly I'm not convinced that prices past $100/barrel are sustainable indefinitely. The issue is that when prices pass $60/barrel, it becomes economic to mine oil sands. We have bigger reserves of oil sands than
    • > First of all the ethanol thing is not because it makes economic sense. It is because the US government subsidizes ethanol.

      Subsidies like this are normally (and legitimately) meant to bootstrap industries or counteract temporary imbalances.

      You might subsidise ethanol to boot up an ethanol industry quickly, and you can gradually remove the subsidies later, once industry has improved their methods and can support itself.

      Other examples in a number of countries are subsidies for solar panels or wind generat
      • While I agree there can be legitimate reasons for subsidies, I really think that the ethanol subsidy is because of the strength of the agricultural lobby in the government, and not for any nobler policy reason.

        On the rest of it, I see there being two alternatives. In one the cost of oil drops. In which case the gamba grass is not cut by people, but some of the other bad things don't happen. In the other the cost of oil stays high in which case it will be worth someone's while to cut that grass. Either alternative is better than the present in some way.