Letter to MPs on E85 and Total

Letter sent to deputies and a senator from Seine Maritime by Armand LEGAY, Master in Sociology and author of the study of DEA alcohol biofuel

In Le Havre the 22 February 08


The scandal is not only the refusal of the oil companies to introduce biofuels as well in the gas oil as the super, evening 5, 75% for 2008 and to make pay the 500 million by the consumers. He is also elsewhere.

Indeed, the Charter for the development of the Superethanol E85 sector was signed on November 13, 2006 under the aegis of the Prime Minister of the time, Mr. Dominique de Villepin. Through their signature, fuel distributors (mass distribution and oil companies), automobile manufacturers (PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault, Ford, Saab, Volvo), ethanol producers (CGB, AGPB, AGPM) and the The State have undertaken to ensure the launch in 2007 and the development in France of the E85 superethanol sector.

With this biofuel government plan from January 2007, 600 E85 pumps (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) were to be installed in France, 40% of which by Total Elfina, but there are only 200 installed. and again with obvious discrimination in the Havraise region where E85 is produced.

Indeed, there is a paradox on the installation of these pumps in Seine maritime, compared to their location. For example in Le Havre no pump is installed when in the Rouen region six, including one in the process of being installed.

On the territory of the Havre Agglomeration Community, it is therefore the desert concerning this renewable fuel, when elected representatives of the Republic, controversial or partisan, are against (lip service) or advocate the establishment of two power plants coal when we are one of the most polluted regions or regions in France (depending on the weather).

And they know, these elected officials, that the sequestration of CO2 is not yet complete, as well as its assimilation by farmed marine plants.

The delay that continues in this plan stems from a different orientation taken by President Sarkozy with the conclusions of the Grenelle de l'Environnement in October 2007, which was only a media distraction.

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These conclusions show the choice made by the Fillon government in contrast to that of M. de Villepin concerning biofuels and in particular bioethanol (which would be just as harmful as oil on the greenhouse effect) with the E85 plan launched by this latest. The President of the Republic in the closing speech of the Grenelle de l'environnement then proposed that a study be carried out by ADEME, the Environment and Energy Management Agency, to remove or concretize the doubts on first generation biofuels. However, he announces that the choice which seems to him the most judicious is the second generation biofuels which use plants other than food and other processes of fermentation and liquefaction of biomass (see this page: energy solutions of the future).

This converges on the myriad of ecological and environmental protection associations, present at this Grenelle, of which I doubt their democratic representativeness as for their operation, often in the pay of one or a few individuals, on the contrary of employee unions. or employers or communities. It must be said that 20% of organic land has been promised by 2020 for green productivism. This also converges towards the position of the oil majors who are not ready in terms of their industrial tools, whether for the renovation or the installation of new oil refining units in Europe and in the world. The decision of the French Government and the President of the Republic corresponds to the fact of this industrial delay. With the ecologists in his pocket, it plays especially the game of the (random) coming of the oil tankers, the happening that is in the refining of biomass. Liquefied, like crude oil, it can be used directly in existing refineries without too many modifications, the distillation and cracking technique being the same.

This analysis on biofuels, especially for bioethanol, is compared to the words of Michel Girard, Former Director of TOTAL Agricultural Development that I heard during the agricultural engineers' day on November 15, 2005 at ESIGELEC, at the technological center of Madrillet from the University of Rouen: “In the geography of consumption the focal point is Europe, it is not France. Europe is in dire need of diesel. Europe has a surplus in essence. Where is it going? In the United States, which are in dire need of gasoline. This situation explains the rise in the price of oil due to the fact that no refinery has been built either in Europe or in the United States for several decades. (…) Today when we say that there is crude available, it's true, but it is bad quality crude. If we distilled it in our refineries we would produce less than today. This would worsen the crisis. (…), Because we depend, the Europeans and France in particular, entirely on Russia.
There is no political fear, but if (the Russians) also expand their truck transport, they will help themselves first. This is the result of taxes and also of CO2, because we know that diesel consumes less than gasoline. The spirit, ultimately, is a fairly complex equation between Saudi Arabia, low-end crudes and refinery closures. (…) In our forecasts, we had to broaden our parameter of energy resources. Of course, biomass is one of them. For us, the choice of various solutions is represented by four modules: the largest possible resources, agriculture and agricultural co-products, waste and transport techniques for all this. For example, we forgot how we transported firewood. And then, there are quite a few transformation technologies which are not all yet well mastered in order to obtain a range of products which goes from direct energy, by being more efficient, to recovery with cogeneration, by using all fuels and chemical products (…) Today, biofuels are developing everywhere, but in Europe, it is a mess. It is an extremely heterogeneous fiscal policy. For us, not forgetting the struggles for delivery by pipeline and depots that were extremely difficult to handle throughout Europe, biofuels must be able to mix and be compatible with this whole policy.
From there, we'll take as many biofuels as agriculture can make. For agriculture, this will have a huge impact. I think that there is no need for 25% of agricultural land to go for energy and chemicals. "
(Engineers Day Rouen 15 October 2005)

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These remarks are proof that the French government's environmental policy for the new government is behind the tanker Total.

This analysis that I am submitting to you is one aspect of the university research that I am doing on biofuels. However, it is as a citizen of what remains of the Republic that I ask the elected representatives of the people to intervene with the government. Indeed, the current controversy over biofuels is harmful to our economy and our environment. First-generation biofuels, in a development and agriculture that is more reasonable than sustainable (sustainable for what?) In France, can be a source of distinct and completely renewable development, provided that inputs (chemicals for plant growth are used) ) the least harmful and the most derived from biomass. Our farmers have every interest in it, because they are aware of the preservation of their watersheds and other territories and of their working tool: the Earth.

If, like many tankers, only talk about global development, this development needs the local and vice versa.

For me, the current need is to move towards a positive economy that combines democratic participation, economics and ecological science and where politics will be in charge and not financialization as today.

Receive, gentlemen, my republican greetings and cordial greetings.

LEGAY Armand

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