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It doesn't matter which party is in power in Washington (or state capitals, for that matter), companies that are spending billions of dollars to develop new products and technologies will spend at least a fraction of that amount to lobby politicians for policies that give them a leg up in the market. That's just what Ford, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and countless others are doing when it comes to "green vehicle" technology.

Bad news for ethanol lovers. One of the most important ethanol producers in the U.S., ADM, has announced that U.S. production of ethanol was down by 21 percent, from some 12.9 million gallons in mid-late 2008 to 10.2 million right now. The market was up when oil prices were high, plants were built (or planned for) about everywhere and ethanol producers received big subsidies. Then came the lower price of oil, a higher price for corn and the credit crunch - all obvious reasons why producers now f

We have covered already what jatropha is: a promising crop which can be cultivated on barren land that does not compete with food production and from which you can obtain oil (with a quality similar to rapeseed) to make biodiesel. A lot of research is being done on making jathropa a viable source for biofuels.

A few days ago, agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) let the rest of the world know what the company's future in bioenergy will look like. When ADM talks biofuels, it's sensible it to pay attention. This is one of the world's largest processors of soybeans, corn and wheat, after all, and if they're going to expand biofuel production, it impacts a lot of us. Patricia Woertz, CEO and President, said ADM is considering expanding its origination presence in palm in Indonesia, sugar in Bra

Chart: Google Finance / VeraSun Energy Corporation (NYSE: VSE)

The line between agribusiness and ethanol continues to get blurrier with the announcement yesterday from Alternative Energy Sources (AENS) that former ADM executive John A. Ward has become EVP and Director of Operations of AENS. Ward started at ADM in 1990 and worked at the top of that company's corn-processing operations, including vice president of fermentation products. From 2001-2006, Ward managed all manufacturing and engineering functions of the corn-processing and the bio-products divisio

The Associated Press, in a story published today, sees in the recent statements of two agri-giant chairmen the broader debate of whether or not farmland should be used to grow food or fuel.

Calling ethanol a "now-vital liquid", Business Week on Wednesday has an entirely upbeat report on agribusiness giant ADM's recent profits, driven in part by surging prices of ethanol, completely ignoring the warning of an "ethanol bubble" we mentioned here yesterday. ADM is the largest producer of ethanol in the United States, even though bioproducts (like ethanol) only account for one-fifth of the company’s operating profits, the magazine says. Unsurprisingly, the incr

Well, that didn’t take too long. Just when the President starts to promote ethanol as a way to curb America’s addiction to oil, industry analysts are already talking about being in an “ethanol bubble”, or so says Abnormal Returns and some of the analysts quoted there. One says that over-investment in ethanol distilling plants is likely, another warns that agribusiness giant ADM is saying some of its future earnings will come from ethanol, but that this profit – like

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