Monday, July 18, 2005

The Ethanol Scam: ADM and Brian Mulroney

Ethanol burns more than it saves: study
Researchers at Cornell University and the University of California-Berkeley say it takes 29 per cent more fossil energy to turn corn into ethanol than the amount of fuel the process produces. For switch grass, a warm weather perennial grass found in the Great Plains and eastern United States, it takes 45 per cent more energy and for wood, 57 per cent. It takes 27 per cent more energy to turn soybeans into biodiesel fuel, the study found. "Ethanol production in the United States does not benefit the nation's energy security, its agriculture, the economy, or the environment," according to the study by Cornell's David Pimentel and Berkeley's Tad Patzek. They conclude the country would be better off investing in solar, wind and hydrogen energy.The researchers included such factors as the energy used in producing the crop, costs that were not used in other studies that supported ethanol production, Mr. Pimentel said.The study also omitted $3-billion (U.S.) in state and federal government subsidies that go toward ethanol production in the United States each year, payments that mask the true costs, Mr. Pimentel said

Gee would those subsidies be the ones that went to Agribusiness giants like Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), who monopolize the ethanol market with their domination of corn and soyabean markets. As the "Supermarket to the World" brags on their web page:

"ADM is working with the abundant and renewable products of agriculture to develop nature-based fuels & industrials alternatives to the world’s finite stores of fossil fuels. Today, we are recognized as a leader in the production of cleaner-burning fuel ethanol. Additionally, ADM is a leading producer of consistently reliable, high-performing and naturally derived products for a diverse group of industries."

ADM, who have been charged with criminal conspiracy in the past, claim that they are helping create a clean energy for the future with their corn/soyabean ethanol projects. Hmm but the study says: "Ethanol production in the United States does not benefit the nation's energy security, its agriculture, the economy, or the environment" But it sure does benefit ADM.

"Little attention is given to ADM's controlling position within ethanol, the industry's shaky dependence on a complex, multi-tiered subsidy regime, or the basic volatility of commodity prices." Ethanol Subsidies for ADM & Other Corporate Kleptomaniacs Will Not Solve Energy Crisis

ADM's Canadian connection: during the ADM price fixing scandal they hired former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, to act as a director in charge of corporate transparency. He remains on the board today.

The Mulroney Government approved the sale of Ogilvie Mills, the last independent milling company in Canada to ADM after they passed NAFTA.

"1993-1994 - ADM purchased Ogilvie Mills, the largest miller in Canada and a world leader in production of starch, gluten, and other wheat ingredients, with annual sales of $275 million. The flour-milling business arm of the new conglomerate then signed long-term supply contracts with the Toronto-based food and retailing giant George Weston Ltd, United Oilseeds Products Inc., a canola crushing plant in Lloydminster, Alta., (which was jointly owned by United Grain Growers Ltd. of Winnipeg and Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan), and the agriculture operations of International Multifoods Corp. of Minneapolis, a business that included 11 feed mills and a chicken hatchery in Canada."
Ogilvie Flour Mills :Univeristy of Manitoba Special Collections

"The sheer fact that Brian Mulroney went from being a Canadian prime minister to the most prominent director of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) should never be lost o­n the investigation. The statement of ADM chairman to some grumbling shareholders in praising Brian Mulroney and showing them the highest value to the company is a glaring testimony."The Death of the Canadian Farmer

The Andreas family that owns ADM have been large contributors to U.S. Presidential Campaigns. Especially Republican ones. The recent Bush subsidies for Agriculture benefit ADM more than the family farmer.

"The Andreas clan began supplanting the founding Archer and Daniels families in the 60s and still own a few percent of the century-old company. While chief competitors Cargill and Bunge Ltd. established a broad global network of suppliers as well as customers during the last half of the 20th century, the charismatic Dwayne Andreas built ADM as "supermarket to the world" almost entirely on the crops of American farmers. The elder Andreas was an advisor to several U.S. presidents and could count on his Washington connections to prop up prices for key ADM products domestically, including high-fructose corn syrup and ethanol, a gasoline alternative made from corn." Heartland transformation: ADM CEO Allen Andreas has led the giant out of scandal and put it on a winning path

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