Saturday, June 24, 2006

Anti-business Portland

Just a couple recent examples:

#1) Randy Leonard wants to force all gas stations in the city to use an ethanol mix in both diesel and gasoline. Of course, that means the price goes up since ethanol costs more than gas, and now more people will fill their cars up at suburban stations, screwing the gas station owners in the city.

Is ethanol REALLY more "renewable" than gas? How much petroleum-based energy is used in the production of ethanol? I would venture a guess that as long as ethanol costs more per gallon than gas, that more petroleum based energy is used in producing a gallon of ethanol than the energy contained IN a gallon of ethanol. Which of course would mean that forcing gas stations to use the ethanol mix would actually INCREASE consumption of petroleum.

Of course liberals are incapable of even asking such "unintended consequence" type questions, because for them it is all about the symbolism. It doesn't matter if their policies would actually result in their stated aim - at least they are trying to DO SOMETHING.

Like the Kyoto treaty. If fully implemented by every country, its effect on atmospheric CO2 levels couldn't even be detected by current instrumentation, and would have a miniscule effect on the global temperature according to the global climate models.

Doesn't matter. We have to do it because then we are doing something.

Example #2) Sam Adams continues his jihad against Wal-Mart. He doesn't like all sorts of things about the way Wal-Mart conducts business and the effect they have on competing businesses, so he wants to use his political power to stop them.

Pity the fool who runs a legal business that falls out of favor with the political class in Portland. Portland politicians think it is a perfectly fine exercise of government power to limit the growth of businesses they don't like. You see, they have all sorts of higher order priorities than making sure the workaday folk have access to inexpensive goods that save them, on average, more than $500 per year. (I guess that is chump change when you make $90K and are ensured tier 1 PERS when you retire in a decade or so.)

You see, Sam Adams thinks he can ignore the global economy and create his own little utopia right here. Wal-Mart doesn't fit in his vision. It requires automobiles, doesn't pay its workers a "family wage," and it "exploits" foreign labor markets to produce its goods.

What Sam Adams and Randy Leonard will probably never learn is that you can't have your own economy. Either be a part of the world's economy or suffer the consequences: a low standard of living.

And so they are doing a darn good job of taking us there.


Dare!PDX said...

Actually Leonard doesn't want an ethanol blend in both gas and diesel he wants a 10% ethanol blend in gasoline (something we already do every winter) and a 5% blend of biodeisel in with the diesel.

Ethanol typically is competitive with gasoline with a spike in its commodity price right now because of other issues in the marketplace (namely a sudden stop in the usage of another gasoline alternative MTBE). For decades now gasoline has been blended with ethanol whenever its been cheaper (and this has been often). Arco blends ethanol year round with their gasoline and have yet to see a more expensive product (also, Arco blends ethanol to improve the characteristics of their gasoline).

I am personally against a Portland only mandate because it will wreak havock across the region as refiners (thats big oil folks) pass increased costs along to the entire region though only Portland will be using the infrastructure.

Though Leonard's proposal might make sense if Oregon goes along with Washinton's coming biofuel mandate. This would require another issue in Randy's codification of the mandate mirroring Washtington's efforts.

Anonymous said...

Its all diversonary to take eyes off OHSU and SoWhat.

Charlie said...

Randy Leonard hasn't had an original thought in years. He's a radical pro-union political hack only interested in gettng re-elected. He serves at Erik Sten's pleasure and therefore if he intendsto serve another term he is required to do the Stennies bidding on a variety of wild eyed ultra left wing issues. This is just the latest.

Don't make the mistake of taking Randy too seriously. When it comes to the bigger issues of the day he's really quite shallow.

Watcher said...

His name aint Charlie and he's not from Gresham.

He has had run in's with the law (a little DUI) and sometimes still drinks to excess, especially just before his blogging starts (but morning drinking, Charlie! I thought you gave that up?).

Plus his ties are horrible (you know those mid-50's wannabies).

Charlie said...

My name ain't Charlie but I do live in Gresham (for over 40 years now). I took my last drink in 1981, never have had a DUI or any other ticket for that natter....not even a parking ticket. Oh.....and I good deal past my mid 50's. But I do know Randy better than most.....we like each other in fact.

I do take particular offense at any criticism of my ties. Any of them still in my closet came from my grandchildren and are quite nice.

Anonymous said...

"But I do know Randy better than most.....we like each other in fact."

Ha Ha.

With friends like you....

Charlie said...

LMAO...I know drives you nuts! See you in a couple days.

Anonymous said...

Ethanol is currently priced about 50 cents/gallon higher than gasoline: that is the wholesale price differential. Granted, it's only 10% ethanol, but the problems only start there.

This represents a giant "exploit us" invitation to the refineries that sell into Portland. If you thought Enron had a field day in CA, just wait until it's not convenient to squeeze a batch of "Portland E10" into the production planning. Prices will go up, probably enough for Randy to ANNOUNCE HE'S INVESTIGATING THE PRICE GOUGING. Heck, he might even try and condemn Exxon and make them a PUD.

Can you say gas lines?

Dare!PDX said...

Actually ethanol is priced about double gasoline at $5 a gallon on the futures market in 25,000 gallon purchase quantities.

Biodiesel likewise is around $3.50 a gallon in large volume purchases.

The passage of this mandate is bad news for Oregon's blue collar industries and will guarantee that Vancouver, Wa continues to outpace Portland as the economic engine of Oregon's economy.

Its also the nail in the coffin of Oregon Trucking as the major port city has basically told trucking once again to go elsewhere.

terru said...

Dear Sam:

What do you have against Wal-Mart? The American working class accepts its inevitable economic decline, why can't you?

SalemWayne said...

I think the farmers that grow crops for ethanol and the people who produce the ethanol should be forced to use ethanol as their only energy source.

Unfortunately, I don't think we can get ethanol based fertilizer.