Biofuel Driving up the Price of Gas? So What?

pricesgass.jpgThere’s been talk lately about the price of gas remaining high for the foreseeable future as oil companies choose not to expand refining operations in the face of a bio-fuels boom. It’s hard to appreciate the tone of articles like this one for example when they shout out headlines like “Going Green’s No Good for Gas Prices “.
So what? The current price of gasoline has finally started to change consumer awareness of vehicle choice and is driving a bonanza of greener alternatives (some better than others). The current price of gasoline has also not caused any noticeable economic hardship. If the boom in alternative fuels and better vehicles continues, then anyone with a brain knows we’ll all be better off. This is exactly the kind of price rises the country needs to stimulate progress – if prices were lower, then we’d be in for a much ruder awakening sometime down the line.
It’s downright lousy journalism to point fingers at bio-fuels and paint oil refiners as some kind of victims. I’m hoping though, that readers of these types of articles are smart enough to say, “well, it’s a good thing in the long run”

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

12 responses

  1. It is a very inefficient way to drive up prices.
    Better to do a carbon tax, and remove subsidies from biofuels.
    That would allow individual drivers to choose between higher efficiency, driving less, etc., etc., … without at the same time paying through their general tax burden.
    Remember, ethanol subsidies are a transfer from (broadly) income tax to the fuel system.

  2. Blaming biofuels for high gas prices is especially off base when you consider the time line. New refineries can take up to a decade to build. Since we just started talking about a 20 percent reduction in gasoline usage THIS YEAR, that talk could only impact refining capacity (and thus gas prices) years from now…not today.

  3. odograph – I do agree with you that biofuels (especially corn-ethanol) shouldn’t need to be subsidized in most cases. But then again, neither should gasoline (aka – the major purpose of US military activity over the last decade).. but I won’t digress.

  4. I am an oil and gas wildcatter with some 50 years experience. Nothing is going to replace oil and natural gas as our primary fuel. Aside from transporation we make 4000 products from crude oil. Soon gasoline prices will go to $5.00 then up to $8.00 a gallon due to impending shortages. Get the extreme envirionmentalists off our back and we will find large new oil deposits and build new refineries. We do not hurt the enviornment and extremism is killing our oil industry and causing much higher prices. For example we are held up drilling in Wyoming over a Plover Bird for nine months waiting for a federal agent to see if they can find a next. In twenty years we have never found one, but we are held up from drilling. Dr. C. Laser

  5. “We do not hurt the environment” ? Dr Laser, are you smoking fumes? I think high gas prices are great – and so does the industry! Oil firms are making money like there’s no tomorrow so I’m a little baffled at why you’d say anything is “killing” your industry. Sure, we’ll be using oil for a long time, but phasing it out is in everyone’s best interests, except for a few small, myopic, folks with their heads in the (tar) sands.

  6. High gas prices are just what we need to wake up to the reality of what we have created. Now is a good time to start looking at alternatives to oil, if we don’t, our children will have a bleak future when the oil runs out and we’ve made no provision for alternatives.
    To Dr. C Laser I say: The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance — it is the illusion of knowledge. (quote by Daniel Boorstin)

  7. I am in college and work full time (aka: I am poor-ish) I drive a compact car… gets 32 miles to the gallon. However, I live in Florida. My boyfriend is in Virginia, my only best friend in North Carolina, my father 1.5 hours south of me, and my mother in California so I have to fly. No matter what car I drive right now, because everything is gasoline whether I like it or not, I will be punished for visiting family and friends while hippies gleefully leap about, rejoicing the the rise in gas prices. One of them being my best friend who still has her gas paid by her parents. Why do hippies love to add insult to injury?

  8. TO THE SO CALLED DR. WITH 50 YEARS EXPERIENCE. WE DO NOT HAVE A SHORTAGE OF FUEL. I WAS IN IRAQ IN 2007/2008 AND THE LOCALS WERE PAYINY .20-.25 CENTS A GALLON. WHERE DID YOU EARN YOUR DEGEREE?

  9. TO THE SO CALLED DR. WITH 50 YEARS EXPERIENCE. WE DO NOT HAVE A SHORTAGE OF FUEL. I WAS IN IRAQ IN 2007/2008 AND THE LOCALS WERE PAYINY .20-.25 CENTS A GALLON. WHERE DID YOU EARN YOUR DEGEREE?

  10. “Nothing is going to replace oil and natural gas as our primary fuel.”
    So 1000 millennium from now we’ll still be using oil and gas? Wow thats brilliant.
    I’d be willing to bet that in 50 to 100 years from now gas will no longer used, or only in comparatively tiny amounts.

Comments are closed.