Green Campaign Watch: Obama in Bed with Ethanol?


You know ethanol’s public image is poor when the media starts using it as a discovered skeleton in the closet. The New York Times takes a look at presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s Midwestern ethanol interests. The senator from Illinois’ “close links” with the ethanol industry are more like mere associations.

But the article does spark discussion on the extreme differences between Obama and McCain on biofuels. McCain is an ardent free trader and while he’s not against biofuels specifically, he’d rather the market dictate our energy winners and losers (unless it’s nuclear). McCain wants to do away with the massive subsidies corn growers and ethanol blenders enjoy and our 54-cent protectionist tariff on imported ethanol.

Obama thinks this is a bad idea because replacing imported Middle Eastern oil with imported Brazilian ethanol will not help our energy security. Domestically produced ethanol, both corn and cellulosic, can provide jobs and increased self-reliance, Obama says. We hope to see ethanol come up as a debate issue as we move toward the general election.

Here’s the list of the ethanol connections the Times reports:

  • Obama has been joined on the campaign trail by former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle who the Times reports now sits on the boards of three different ethanol companies, including Mascoma.
  • Jason Grumet, Obama’s lead adviser on energy and the environment, previously served on the National Commission on Energy Policy, an initiative associated with Daschle and Bob Dole. Dole is a big ethanol backer and has close ties to agribusiness giant Archers Daniel Midland.
  • Early in his Senate career Obama broke decorum and flew twice on subsidized corporate jets owned by Archers Daniel Midland which is headquartered in Obama’s home state of Illinois and is the largest producer of ethanol in the country.

None of these links seem particularly damning, but Obama’s associations with individuals have plagued his campaign, from Reverend Wright to Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground. While these ethanol connections are important to keep in mind, none of them seem to warrant an all out attack on Obama’s energy plan.



A person’s wedding is one of the most memorable, important, and high points in an individual’s life. At a time when a man and a woman want to make the ultimate commitment to spend the rest of their lives together, the desire to have personalized vows is certainly understandable. This is one of the most unique and special days in a person’s life, so if you want to speak your own personal wedding vows, than by all means, you should go for it!

Writing your own vows can be intimidating. Wedding days always add pressure to even the most mundane of tasks, and certainly writing the vows you want to say to your significant other in front of all your friends and family is no small matter! Still, don’t let fear cause you to go along with some basic commonly used wedding vows if you really want that personalized touch. Just follow a few basic tips, and this will help you be on your way to writing the tips your future spouse deserves!

  1. Write from the heart. Your wedding day represents the epitome of love between you and your future spouse. The two of you are together for a reason. Anything you write should be honest and from your heart, because that is what will really make your words special.
  2. You don’t have to be Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson. If you are a poet, great. Keep in mind, though, that in the end words are just words. Your wedding vows do not have to be an amazing classic piece of literature—they need to be an honest display of your feelings for the other person. Don’t use long poetical words if all it does is put distance between your words and your feelings.
  3. It’s okay to brainstorm. Before you set down to write everything, make a list of the things about your spouse that you absolutely love about your spouse, then make a list of the commitments you want to make. Figure out what parts of those lists you really want to include (keep in mind the vows are read in front of families and friends) and keep those.
  4. Short and Sweet. It doesn’t take many words or a lot of time to make your heart known to everyone present. A lot can be said in a really short time, so don’t feel like you have to make the vows any longer than they naturally come out.

Follow these four tips, and you’ll find yourself getting over your worries to write some great wedding vows that your spouse will love!

stressless phil

Ethanol is used throughout the midwest and provides higher octane at around the same price as lower ones. This has been debated alot in terms of its use. I know this is an older post but we should be curious about how President-Elect Obama approaches these energy issues.


How often do you yourself do Archery or do you just write about it?

Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

Very impressive that this blog is syndicated through Google and is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

Archery greats you should write about next.


Wow, great coal and nuke commercial there. Funny how no one ever mentions MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL MINING when promoting coal or NUCLEAR WASTE when promoting nuclear energy.

I do appreciate the biofuel bashing, though.

We can easily meet our energy needs and then some through conservation, efficiency and distributed renewables. Notice how I said “needs” –that does not include a hummer with .06% efficiency.

Christopher Calder

Barack Obama is lying about national energy policy, claiming he can help America achieve “energy independence” through biofuels. Here, in a nutshell, is why biofuels will never be beneficial. It’s a matter of simple mathematics!

All present and future biofuels have the same problem. Biofuel crops are all too low in energy, too light in weight, and thus too bulky and expensive to transport to be of any real value. They all require vast amounts of sunlight to grow and thus take up far too much land and water resources to be ecologically beneficial. By contrast, coal is very heavy, high in energy content, and thus makes energy sense to transport. Coal already exists in the ground so you don’t have to grow it, water it, or fertilize it. We simply extract coal and ship it to power plants where it is burned. If we could develop a biological process to turn coal into biodiesel, that might make energy sense, but no such process exists. All biofuel schemes, planned or imagined, will never amount to a hill of beans (excuse the expression) because of the basic limitations of the solar based production process.

Even if we used our entire 300 million acres of cropland for ethanol production, we would only satisfy 15% of national highway energy demand (see “The False Hope of Biofuels” Every year the human race burns up the equivalent of 400 years worth of total planetary vegetation in the condensed form of fossil fuels. How are we ever going to replace all of that concentrated biomass energy by growing a relatively small volume of biofuel crops on our overpopulated, fresh water starved little planet?

The inevitable long term answer to our energy crisis is nuclear energy. You can transport enough nuclear fuel on one lone truck to run a large nuclear reactor for 18 months. You can use a process called “Green Freedom” to make superior quality, 100% sulfur free synthetic gasoline and jet fuel from atmospheric carbon dioxide using meltdown proof prismatic block and/or pebble bed nuclear reactors for 10,000 years without increasing atmospheric levels of CO2. As James Lovelock said, “Nuclear power is the only green solution.” SEE

For all the biofuel disaster facts, and details of far better alternatives see –


Neither of our candidates have anything short of a suicidal energy policy. McCain and Obama are, at best, obstacles to a bright future.

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