Big Corn Teams With Big Oil To Battle Rise In Electric Cars

7 months ago by Steven Loveday 46

Big Corn and Big Oil are seen as rivals due to battles over how much biofuel should be added to gasoline and diesel. But, as interest in electric cars is on the rise, the two are teaming up.

Both industries hope to lobby together to do away with EV subsidies. Bob Dineen, President of the Renewable Fuels Association, said:

“We want to make sure there’s a level playing field.”

In reference to working alongside the oil industry, he continued:

“Our objectives will align more times than not.”

Chet Thompson, president of American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, agreed:

“(We) think we should be working to promote the longevity of the internal combustion engine.”

Representatives from both groups have made it clear repeatedly, that they believe that subsidizing electric vehicles creates unfair inequities. This is all coming to the forefront now that new Environmental Protection Agency head, Scott Pruitt, has moved into office. Pruitt has been described as “pro-oil” and “anti-environment,” so his confirmation to lead the EPA has sparked much controversy. Pruitt is also against the Renewable Fuel Standard, which determines the amount of ethanol and biodiesel allowed to be blended with gasoline and diesel.

President Trump has made it clear that he hopes to deregulate as much as possible. He believes that the EPA has become too powerful and has overstepped its bounds. Trump promised to assist in boosting oil drilling, and to make it easier for manufacturers to go about their business without government intervention.

Today, EVs only make up about 1 percent of all vehicles globally, but growth is accelerating quickly. The potential for wider adoption seems imminent, and Big Oil – now with the somewhat surprising assistance of Big Corn – wants to assure that the government isn’t assisting in the success of EVs.

Source: Reuters

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46 responses to "Big Corn Teams With Big Oil To Battle Rise In Electric Cars"

  1. 2John says:

    This, of course, from agriculture and oil, two of the most subsidized industries in US history.

    1. Mister G says:

      BINGO…without government cheese both industries would be in trouble. Trump states would be in crisis lol

    2. Michael Will says:

      I think we should support them in their quest. Get rid of all subsidies, EV, oil and farms.

      1. SJC says:

        While we are at it get rid of all deductions. A functional progressive tax has no brackets just a continuous curve.

        1. SparkEV says:

          I think that’s what’s meant by all subsidies. But if you try to take away what affects most people such as home mortgage interest tax deduction and health insurance deductions, which is practically every health insurance since employers get to deduct them, there will be huge pushback.

          As long as taxes are as high as they are, getting rid of all subsidies isn’t going to work. In the real world where over half the voters voted for a candidate who promised to increase taxes even more, there will be subsidies. You just have to fight to get your fair share.

          1. TomArt says:

            Federal Income Taxes are the lowest they have been since 1992, and then, they were the lowest since 1941. By any reasonable assessment, income taxes have not been “high” since the 1960s.

            What makes it APPEAR as if income taxes are high is the loss of wage growth and overall loss of jobs. The Federal Minimum Wage has not kept up with inflation by a devastating margin.

            The states that have raised their minimum wages are doing better economically than the national average (surprise, surprise).

            Given how badly school teachers, police officers, etc., etc., are underpaid, and how our bridges are crumbling right out from under our tires, and given the history of Federal income tax rates, there is plenty of room, and a desperate need, for income taxes to go up for the higher brackets.

    3. Bret says:

      +1 2John

      The oil industry’s arrogance and hypocrisy is boundless.

      In a couple of years, EVs will be much cheaper to buy and operate than ICE vehicles. Then, we will likely see the oil companies begging the government for a bailout.

    4. DJ says:

      No doubt right. Want to know what is wrong with American politics???? Crap like this.

    5. ted says:

      I own two Volts and one ELR. Great cars. Yearly cost on each is $50. That $50 includes a oil change and tire rotation. Before oil change, the oil life still has 50% left. Average MPG is 150 miles. Can’t return to ICE. Average electric cost is 3 cents per mile. That is $300 dollars worth of electricity per 10,000 miles driven on electric power only.

    6. Leptoquark says:

      Absolutely true, but we need to be ready with numbers to rebut the inevitable attacks by these guys. They’re going to be throwing around a lot of heavily spun figures, so we really need to be able to compare the magnitudes of subsidies to “Big Oil and Big Corn” relative to EV’s. An order of magnitude?

      1. TomArt says:

        Agreed. Given the track record of this administration, it’s going to get crazy real fast.

  2. SparkEV says:

    There was an article about Musk saying he’s for getting rid of subsidies, ALL subsidies. Problem with oil/corn is that they want the subsidies, but not for EV. Screw that. I take my full subsidy every single time, whether it’s for EV or for home mortgage interest. As long as there are subsidies for others, I want my share!

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      “As long as there are subsidies for others, I want my share!”

      Preach on brother!!

  3. pjwood1 says:

    All part of the “Physics have been cancelled” program. If big oil earned the margin on natural gas that it does with gasoline, this wouldn’t be happening.

  4. Boukman says:

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

  5. MTN Ranger says:

    “(We) think we should be working to promote the longevity of the internal combustion engine.” Kind of ironic since ethanol has a reputation for destroying engines. http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/news/epa-ethanol-engine-damage/

  6. Mister G says:

    Give them the middle finger by leasing or buying an EV today.

    1. ffbj says:

      Currently I am using it.

      1. Devin Serpa says:

        Maybe you can lease them the finger?

        1. ffbj says:

          ..ah. See,that’s why you get paid the big bucks.

      2. vin says:

        Okay, so I guess I’ve got both my middle fingers up.

        What happens if I get a third EV? Oh wait, maybe I shouldn’t ask…

  7. WadeTyhon says:

    “(We) think we should be working to promote the longevity of the internal combustion engine.”

    Sounds to me like they fear for the future of their precious internal combustion engine.

    1. CLIVE says:

      Bummer.

      Vote with your wallet!

  8. ffbj says:

    Right they have been fighting for years, mainly one side wants to see legislation that increase ethanol content in gas the other that it not be raised.

    So there is essentially only 1 area in which they can see eye to eye and they don’t. So they have never allied and have always been enemies but now they find and ever greater enemy evs and team up.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      Having watched Pruitt’s hearing, it’s a marriage of political convenience. The EPW Committee R-line vote, in support, also came from non-oil states like Arkansas, Iowa and Nebraska (if I remember right). Instead, each took turns groveling for commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

      As a proud Liberal/Democrat on environmental issues, I thought there was no way the Republicans would thump the RFS after it was found to be not-clean and not-cheap. Why don’t they just ask everyone to send them cash?

  9. Devin Serpa says:

    Fight Big Corn and Oil with Big Porn and Solar. Make an anthology series about what couples do with their 45 minutes at the charger ;).

    The scenes open with a couple pulling into the chargers, with solar canopy above…

    Cut to the deed, and what not. Throw in some music or whatever.

    Boom! I see a Netflix hit. Hmmm, of course would need to make it less (XXX) and more (Netflix NR). Still, I see that getting some attention for EVs and Solar.

    Let’s get someone to get this going, I think I just wrote the script. Anyone?

    1. SparkEV says:

      This happens all the time at CA rest stops. If you see a car with all windows covered, you can assume what’s happening. One time, a cover slid down, and I saw something I’d rather not remember. It seems there are lots of guys, few girls.

  10. Lad says:

    All big companies have paid lobbyists groups that coordinate their political activities: Big Oil has the American Petroleum Institute; Big Auto has the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and now We know who represents Big Alcohol. What do they have in common? They all support Internal Combustion Engines that pollute by burning fuel in the atmosphere.

    You can bet these groups are all very busy convincing Trump and the Republicans not to support clean energy and from the amount of fossil fuel people in Trump’s administration it looks like they are winning. I think Europe and Tesla will lead the World into the electric car/clean energy evolution…it won’t be Trump and The Republicans.

  11. Jim Seko says:

    Biofuels are an extremely inefficient way of converting solar energy into usable energy. It takes two acres of corn to produce enough ethanol to power one flex fuel vehicle. It takes 25 square meters of solar panels to power one electric car. That’s a 400 to 1 difference!

    1. Just_Chris says:

      exactly, in my opinion the only way bio-fuels would make sense is in a future where everyone drives an electric or PHEV vehicle. The charging infrastructure would need to be expanded to the point where you can charge your charge and run in pure EV mode for almost all the time (even if you can’t charge at home) and the bio-fuel would be for the last 5% of miles that can’t be replaced with electric miles.

      Not my favored option but at least it could potentially be fossil fuel free. Although that would require the farm machinery and the fertilizer to also be free from emissions, not an easy task. You would be consuming a lot of the energy you produce from the crop so any resulting fuel would be eye wateringly expensive.

  12. mx says:

    List of US Fossil Fuel subsidies from recent G20 report:
    – Expensing of Intangible Drilling Costs
    – Percentage Depletion for Oil and Natural-Gas Wells
    – Domestic Manufacturing Deduction for Fossil Fuels
    – Two Year Amortization Period for Geological & Geophysical Expenditures
    – Percentage Depletion for Hard Mineral Fossil Fuels
    – Expensing of Exploration and Development Costs for Hard Mineral Fuels
    – Capital Gains Treatment for Royalties of Coal
    – Deduction for Tertiary Injectants
    – Exception to Passive-Loss Limitation for Working Interests in Oil and Natural-Gas Properties
    – Enhanced Oil Recovery Credit (EOR) Credit
    – Marginal Wells Credit
    – Corporate Tax Income Exemption for Fossil-Fuel Publicly Traded Partnerships
    – Excise Tax Exemption for Crude Oil Derived from Tar Sands
    – Royalty-Exempt Beneficial Use of Fuels
    – Royalty-Free Flaring and Venting of Natural Gas
    – Liability Cap on Natural Resource Damage
    – Subsidies for fossil fuels used in the residential sector
    – Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

    1. mx says:

      I “LOVE”:

      Excise Tax Exemption for Crude Oil Derived from Tar Sands. — Charles Koch wrote that one himself.

      When you spend 300 million on Repub politics, you get something in return.

    2. TomArt says:

      +1

      disgusting…

  13. Rightofthepeople says:

    “Pruitt has been described as “pro-oil” and “anti-environment,” I just love reading stuff like this.

    “Obama has been described as a socialist who was possibly born in Kenya.” See how that works? Just because you quote someone who has described someone of being something, doesn’t make it true.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Okay, let’s reword that to read “Pruitt can accurately be described as pro-Big-Oil and anti-environment.”

      Happy now, dude?

      And before you accuse me of linking to biased sources in what follows, note one of those linked sources is Fox News… not exactly a bastion of left-wing propaganda. 😉

      http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/scott-pruitt-epa-emails-oil-gas-industry-235269

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/22/emails-reveal-epa-chief-pruitts-work-with-oil-gas-companies.html

      1. Rightofthepeople says:

        He’s pro-oil for sure. I mean, the guy is from Oklahoma for crying out loud. But just because someone is pro-oil doesn’t make him anti-environment, depending of course on how you define anti-environment. There are some who would take the hard line stance that anyone who supports oil and gas in the least is an enemy of the environment. I don’t subscribe to that school of thought, but some do.

        My point was more about making general statements that seem to be opinion based and inserting them as if they are fact. Especially by qualifying them with things like “some have said” or “unnamed sources claim” etc. Not trying to slam Steven here as I generally enjoy his reporting, but the establishment media (both right and left) Love to mislead us in this way. They also use the tactic of false or misleading statements that include in them a tiny kernel of truth. That’s called propaganda, and I have become rather sensitive to it whenever I come across it.

  14. JimGord says:

    Fortunately Tesla has already disrupted the fossil car industry. EVs are now unstoppable.

    1. silversod says:

      Absolutely, the progress is unstoppable now.
      fossil fuels are the Monty Python parrot sketch.

      ‘Ello, I wish to register a complaint.

      Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this OIL what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

      Look, matey, I know a defunct way of propelling motor vehicles when I see it, and I’m looking at one right now.

      Um…now look…now look, mate, I’ve definitely ‘ad enough of this. That fossil fuel is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not ‘alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein’ tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk……

  15. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “We want to make sure there’s a level playing field.”

    Coming from either Big Oil or the corn-into-ethanol industry, the level of hypocrisy here is absolutely sickening.

    For the probably very few reading this post who don’t already know this, let’s review:

    1. Big Oil depends on trillions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers, who fund the use of America’s military to protect our overseas supply lines of imported oil. Arguably an even bigger cost is the thousands of lives of American servicemen (and -women) lost in wars fought primarily, or in some cases only, because we are trying to protect those sources of oil. If the cost of these wars were paid for by taxes at the gas pump, instead of the Federal Income Tax, then there would be no need for any subsidies for EVs, and almost nobody would still be driving cars powered by burning fractional petroleum distillates. It would already be the case that over half the cars on the roads would be EVs, with the proportion growing at a rate far faster than it currently is.

    2. Corn-into-ethanol is so absurdly unprofitable that in some cases it actually costs more energy to generate the ethanol and get it to market than the energy contained in the ethanol itself. Without ridiculously high subsidies, this market would dry up almost literally overnight.

    Regarding these issues, the only question in this two-headed llamas’ minds is why anyone would need to have these facts pointed out to them yet again.

  16. Mat says:

    Whoever imagined that the oil-, corn- and ICE industries would be leaving without a fight must have been kidding themselves. It is their livelihood. In the end, the cheaper technology will win the day. In the mean time, it comes down to which industry has more means to sponsor their congressmen, senators or the president.
    If this were just about technology, I’d consider this struggle healthy competition. However, since the health of our planet is at stake, I call this a war.

  17. Priusmaniac says:

    Perhaps for now, but once we all drive electric they will compete against each other again, renewable Ethanochemistry against fossil petrochemistry for all non transport applications like plastics, pharmaceutics, paints, varnished and base organic chemicals, and oil will lose that battle too.