When you want oil, you ask a geologist. When you want ethanol, you ask a farmer. Helping Louisiana farmers balance their productive portfolios of crops for food and fuel is a good hedge for all of us. As in any industry, some incumbents will resist the development of a new emerging market on their embedded assets asÂ a matter of course. The issues raisedÂ by the Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association are not mean-spirited in my view but instead areÂ those that should be answered in the debate. They will be and if the bill is signed, I'm sureÂ the commissioner and industry will figure out how to make it work.
If the bill is not signed, the demand and supply of ethanol will continue to grow.Â We need all the liquid fuels we can get our hands on. The President of the United States has recognizedÂ it. Those in the state who had a bad experience when the nearly faddish fuel gasohol marketÂ in the '80s rose and fellÂ will cite a number of reasons why ethanol is not ready for prime time. In the 25 plus years since its introduction, with increasedÂ crop yields, market infrastructure, and industry efficiencies,Â acceptability has grown appreciably from a boutique fuel in the cornbelt Midwest to a real industry, spreading nationwide and supplying nearly 5 billion gallons this year. The oil industry has continually proved technological advances in the vertically integrated oil business; the renewableÂ ethanol business is doing the same.
"Odom's Bill" is helping toÂ educate our citizens aboutÂ growing bothÂ the carbon and carbohydrate industries in Louisiana. Brazil, confronted with 80 percent of its oil imports being cut off in the first Arab embargo in 1973, began its march to produce ethanol and persevered with it through the second Iranian embargo in 1979 and now has weathered $70-a-barrel oil prices. Their miracle crop? Sugar cane.
We may never accomplish complete energyÂ independence, but we can sure hedge our risks with all theÂ renewable resources we can muster. Farming and oil industryÂ men and women will figure it out. Our goal is to continue to do as Henry Ford once pondered ' how to now build the delivery structure so ethanol is readily available to the motoring public as seamlessly as gasoline.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, March 12, 2014:
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.