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rickgthf
Senior Advisor

The Oil lobby backs carbon pricing!

https://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-lobby-backs-climate-action-plan-11616688013

    Apparently, the oil industry has decided that the least costly response to climate change is to go with carbon pricing, let the consumer pay for it, and avoid any need to actually do anything to solve the problem.  They must think that if they can keep the price low enough it's just the cost of doing business.

  This is going to make carbon farming a going business.

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11 Replies
BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: The Oil lobby backs carbon pricing!

It`s either that or go home with their "zonk".

1,016 Let's Make A Deal Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: The Oil lobby backs carbon pricing!

AND  the  latest  $1.9  Billion  Covid  Relief  Passage , that   several   Midwest  politicians  stating  it  was  to  $pend'y  , has  additional  relief  in  it  for  Ethanol  Plants  - maybe ? 

 I'm  hearing  this  on  radio  stations  farm  news  segments   -  is  this  reliable  info - ?     

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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: The Oil lobby backs carbon pricing!

I think that other than a very conservative price floor to avoid catastrophe in unforseen circumstances, we need to get out of the business of subsidizing commodity crops. Most acres will still be devoted to them well into the future anyway.

Why not just add additional financial incentives onto market based carbon payments?  If the money is all the same, what's the diff?

I'd also like to see several million acres of paid riparian buffers- pay what it takes in the market to get them and keep them. That won't entirely solve water quality issues but it will help. And it is the best way to provide habitat, return some biodiversity to the countryside.

There was a time when sportsmens' groups were a part of the three legged stool of support for conservation titles. They've recently gone missing, mostly holed up at the conservation club to keep anybody from taking their guns.

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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: The Oil lobby backs carbon pricing!

Depends on who's doin' the studyin' as far as conclusions on how much better, if at all, corn ethanol is than gasoline from a carbon point of view. My conclusion from several is.... somewhat.

Here's a huge stick and carrot that the government can wield. Say, yes, "agriculture" can retain 15 b/g/y of ethanol, or more, but it will need to make continuing progress on reducing the carbon intensiveness of the entire life cycle process.

Remember, we're already past peak gasoline and usage will only decline from here. Ethanol will need to grab an ever higher blend share. The good news is that unlike 15 years ago we now how a car fleet that can easily accommodate that.

And remember, the "rural development" and "energy independence" arguments for corn ethanol were never that strong, even though they sounded good if you're a-lobbyin'. Ethanol happened because of environmental regulations- the oxygenation requirements in the Clean Air Act, and the failure of MTBE.

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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: The Oil lobby backs carbon pricing!

BTW, I think that solar electricity is now cheap enough that it can compete with natural gas in partially fueling the boilers at ethanol plants. Most probably have some land area.  You can do large wholesale solar at about .04/KWh.

You could tie in wind in some way, too.

The NG in processing is a big chunk of the carbon that goes into ethanol but I think that the nitrogen fertilizer is still #1.

You can also produce nitrogen off of wind or solar electricity but that is somewhere further down the line as far as practical adoption.

You get more carbon capture out in the field on top of that and you have an extremely powerful argument.

And did I add **** the Kochs?

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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: The Oil lobby backs carbon pricing!

A carbon tax would naturally push ethanol to a less carbon intensive place as well.

Even though NG isn’t real high carbon a tax plus a schedule where tax rises over time, along with future renewables, would make it happen.

Might even make nitrogen from renewables economically feasible.

Oh, did I mention to **** the Kochs and the fossil fuel industry in general?

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bruce MN
Advisor

Re: The Oil lobby backs carbon pricing!

Obvious by the AFBF position that the word has come down from Bayer, Deere, DuPont, Koch etc. that this “isn’t good for farmers”....

As Nox says below.....

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/29/biden-carbon-bank-proposal-478224

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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: The Oil lobby backs carbon pricing!

Yeah, and what I said about the Kochs (even the dead one) to them too.

And the horse they rode in on.

A little late since "agriculture" has been pretty well co-opted into the axis of evil, but Dems owe the agro-industrial complex no more and no less than they owe the fossil fuel nexus.

Which is nada.

Which doesn't mean they shouldn't attempt to enact wise policies for rural communties and people who make a living off farming anyway, even though the vast majority are not going to like anything regardless.

In particular, to just minimize disruptions as much as possible. Which doesn't mean things won't change but it means that most reasonable people can fairly easily adapt to it.

I'd say a lot of things would be optional anyway. You don't have to comply but you won't get paid. And we're not going to pay you for just growin' stuff anymore.

 

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sdholloway56
Senior Advisor

Re: The Oil lobby backs carbon pricing!

Sorta funny that they're talking about tapping Sonny's slush fund for it.

I do agree with the criticism that you need to make it about more than just carbon- there are water and soil conservation objectives as well and they're probably an easier sale to farmers.

And I really don't trust the Gucci crowd who want their piece of it. I'm more inclined toward just making it mostly a government program and channeling most farm support in that direction.