Global environmental challenges
At last year’s American Petroleum Institute conference, Bill Klesse, CEO of leading U.S. oil refiner Valero, slammed federal policymakers who push subsidies and mandates for production of ethanol, saying that using corn to make it would make food so expensive it would cause more misery than global warming.
“All of these programs are just a huge transfer of wealth from our industry (oil) to the Midwest farms,” Klesse said in March 2008 speech.
A year later, Klesse has decided to join rather than fight. If the money is going to the Midwest corn farms, why not cash in, right? Valero two weeks ago was chosen by a bankruptcy court as the winning bidder for two more VeraSun ethanol-producing plants. The sale of seven former VeraSun plants closed on Wednesday and two more are expected to close soon.
A year and two weeks ago, Klesse said the federal government should stop favoring ethanol with subsidies. Now, Klesse and Valero are securing a supply of ethanol that it needs to mix with its gasoline.