In March I started posting on ethanol after a considerable hiatus (links below).
The essence of the argument takes about one hundred words. From last week's "Ethanol Makes A Comeback" (GPRE; ADM; PEIX; VLO)":
POET is privately held.
...The profitability of the ethanol business depends on the so-called crush spread, the price difference between a gallon of ethanol and the corn that goes into it. The crush spread got crushed. In November 2008 VeraSun, a high-flying new issue from 2006 and then the second-largest producer of fuel ethanol, filed for bankruptcy. In May 2009 Pacific Ethanol, (PEIX) a producer funded by Bill Gates' Cascade Investments, followed suit. Aventine Renewable Energy also collapsed that spring.What didn't change was the federal mandate. The U.S. consumes 138 billion gallons of gasoline per year. The government has decreed that "renewable" sources contribute 13 billion gallons in 2010, rising to 14 billion next year and reaching 20.5 billion in 2015...
From the Houston Chronicle's NewsWatch: Energy blog:
The world's largest ethanol producer is ramping up its national profile, with television commercials running coast to coast, news conferences in the nation's capital and presidential drop-bys.
Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Poet launched the television advertising campaign earlier this month. The commercials are a riff on the company name, because they feature employees singing the praises of ethanol in free verse.
Last week, the company's CEO, Jeff Broin, visited the National Press Club to declare Poet was on track to produce 3.5 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol by 2022, following construction of a plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa that could begin production by 2012. The company already has 26 ethanol plants in seven states.
Now, the company is preparing for a chance to show off its corn-based ethanol production process to the commander-in-chief. President Obama is slated to visit the Poet Biorefining plant in Macon, Mo., on Wednesday.
The visit is part of a "White House to Main Street" tour that will also take Obama to Iowa and Illinois.
While in Missouri, Obama will get a chance to tour the Poet facility -- the first ethanol plant in the state -- which is capable of producing 46 million gallons of the fuel annually....