Large agribusiness gets corporate welfare via illegal ethanol subsidies

What more proof is needed that the Energy Returned on Energy Invested of ethanol is negative?  They’re losing money and getting corporate welfare to keep the scam going, meanwhile destroying prime topsoil, poisoning the land with pesticides, and eutrophying the Gulf of Mexico (see Peak Soil for details).

This is only part of the article, see the rest here.

Updated: Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels Fact Sheet. June 2014. Taxpayers for common sense.

Large Corn Biofuels Facilities Receiving Taxpayer Funding

The highest payments per project, by far, were awarded to large agribusinesses operating corn and soy biofuels facilities.

This is despite the fact that corn ethanol facilities are not even eligible for funding through this program or defined as an advanced biofuel in any current federal legislation.

Regardless, USDA is still funneling money to this mature industry, in addition to soy biodiesel facilities.

From 2009 to 2014, 21 corn ethanol facilities and three corn oil biodiesel facilities received $60 million in federal subsidies, an average of $2.5 million per project. See Table 2 for more information. The corn ethanol industry has already received more than its fair share of federal subsidies over the past 30 years, including energy and commodity subsidies in the farm bill, production tax credits, import tariffs, taxpayer-backed loans, and infrastructure support. In addition, corn ethanol production is mandated through the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS); more specifically, the RFS mandate requires that 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol be used in U.S. motor gasoline by 2015.

Even though the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels was intended to spur production of advanced biofuels, as the program’s title suggests, its funding stream reveals a different story. Instead of assisting small, rural residents or small businesses obtain financing to help second-generation biofuels derived from non-food feedstocks get off the ground, the program is instead funneling taxpayer dollars to large, profitable, and well-known agribusinesses. Government funding is also spent on mature biofuels industries like corn ethanol and soy biodiesel, which have enjoyed taxpayer backing for more than 30 years. Now more than ever, taxpayers should not be forced to fund corporate welfare and mature technologies, so the BPAB program must not be renewed in the next farm bill and spending should be reined in until then.

Table 2:  Corn Biofuels Facilities Receiving Advanced Biofuels Payments, 2009-14

Facility Name (* notes the facility produces biodiesel) State Feedstock Total Payments
White Energy Inc TX corn/milo $10,442,369
Arkalon Ethanol LLC KS corn/milo $9,935,595
Western Plains Energy KS corn/milo $8,302,242
Kansas Ethanol LLC KS corn/milo $5,914,342
Pinal Energy LLC AZ corn $4,651,731
Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy LLC KS corn/milo $4,428,160
Levelland/Hockley Co. Ethanol (now Diamond Ethanol) TX corn/milo $3,308,326
Abengoa Bioenergy Corp. MO corn/milo $3,108,385
Bonanza Bioenergy LLC KS corn/milo $3,082,023
Chief Ethanol Fuel Inc NE corn/milo $2,308,795
Reeve Agri Energy Inc KS corn/milo $1,723,906
Nesika Energy LLC KS corn $771,812
Central Indiana Ethanol LLC IN corn $482,973
Corn Plus LP MN corn $311,081
Walsh Bio Fuels, LLC* WI corn $267,030
Trenton Agri Products LLC KS corn/milo $231,620
Nugen Energy LLC SD corn $98,591
East Kansas Agri-Energy LLC KS corn $58,834
Cornhusker Energy Lexington, LLC NE corn $14,871
Chippewa Valley Ethanol Coop MN corn $14,597
Best Biodiesel Cashton, LLC* WI corn/soy $10,487
Kappa Ethanol, LLC NE corn $8,693
Maple River Energy, LLC* IA corn/soy $7,845
TOTAL $59,618,433

Large Agribusinesses Receiving Subsidies for Biodiesel Production

Table 3 identifies several large agribusinesses receiving more than $1 million of taxpayer subsidies for biodiesel production. Biodiesel can be produced from corn oil, as noted above, or other feedstocks such as soy or other types of vegetable oil, animal fats, recycled cooking oil, etc. Notable companies receiving taxpayer support from 2009-2013 include the Renewable Energy Group, Louis Dreyfus, Ag Processing, Archer Daniels Midland, MN Soybean Processors, and Cargill Inc. Similar to the generous taxpayer supports corn ethanol has received over the past 30 years, biodiesel companies have also benefited from a $1 per gallon production tax credit for several years, on top of several other federal incentives.

Table 3:  Biodiesel Facilities Receiving Advanced Biofuels Payments, 2009-14

Facility Name State Feedstock Total Payment
Lake Erie Biofuels, LLC Dba Hero Bx PA multi $16,842,034
Renewable Energy Group, Inc. IA canola $15,308,992
Louis Dreyfus Agricultural Industries IN soy $12,468,872
High Plains Bioenergy, LLC OK animal fats $11,915,721
AG Processing Inc NE soy $11,221,637
Mid-America Biofuels, LLC MO soy $10,530,741
Paseo Cargill Energy, LLC MO soy $9,690,338
Archer Daniels Midland Company IL, ND canola $7,744,279
Deerfield Energy LLC MO multi $6,846,753
MN Soybean Processors MN soy $5,914,635
Owensboro Grain Company, LLC. KY soy $5,668,413
Cargill Inc. MN soy $5,562,689
Smarter Fuel, Inc. PA cooking oil $5,202,080
Incobrasa Industries, Ltd. IL soy $4,897,378
FutureFuels Chemical Company AR animal fats/soy $4,661,016
Imperium Grays Harbor LLC WA canola $3,849,794
Rbf Port Neches, LLC. TX multi $3,710,752
E Biofuels LLC IN animal fats/cooking oil $3,440,667
Western Iowa Energy IA multi $3,020,233
American Biodiesel, Inc CA multi $2,741,786
Crimson Renewable Energy LP CA multi $2,703,216
Western Dubuque Biodiesel, LLC IA canola $2,569,989
Sequential‐Pacific Biodiesel OR cooking oil $2,516,531
Jatrodiesel, Inc. OH multi $2,144,479
Midwest Biodiesel Product, LLC. IL soy $2,011,805
Green Earth Fuels Of Houston, LLC. TX multi $1,924,678
Environmental Energy Recycling Corp. PA cooking oil $1,758,853
Scott Petroleum Corporation MS multi $1,726,854
Imperial Western Products, Inc. CA animal fats/veg oil $1,654,933
Iowa Renewable Energy, LLC IA animal fats/veg oil $1,441,303

Other Feedstocks Receiving Taxpayer Subsidies

As Table 1 illustrated, projects receiving the last few million dollars of BPAB payments converted either woody biomass, sorghum, or seed waste into biofuels or used anaerobic digesters or landfill gas to power bioenergy facilities. On average, these payments were three to ten times smaller than the average checks sent to corn ethanol facilities. The remaining projects were filed in the unknown category since too little detail was provided by USDA to determine which types of feedstocks are used in the facilities.

For more information, contact Taxpayers for Common Sense at 202-546-8500.

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