Oil exec tapped to run alternative fuel company

Grist Magazine reports a former oil executive was picked as CEO for Archer Daniels Midland. ADM, a company with quite the turbulent history, is a food processing firm which has made billions over the years producing things like high-fructose corn syrup. The choice of Patricia Woertz, former executive Vice President of Chevron, points towards a continued move towards automotive fuel production for ADM. While the company is showing healthy profits, an interesting piece of information pertains to the profits in the ethanol unit. While demand for ethanol has surged, and ADM is said to clear $1 in profit per gallon, operating profit in the unit has recorded only a modest gain. The cost of corn was lower, the price of ethanol was higher. However, the increased energy cost cut into a possible increase in profit. It seems it does take quite a bit of fuel to produce ethanol. The company did post a significant profit in the oilseeds crushing unit, part of the firm's biodiesel operations. The article further describes some of the operating methods of multinational agribusiness giants, and is an interesting but slightly scary read.

[Source: Grist Magazine]

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