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The Boondoggle that is Ethanol

This is an excellent article. A great summary of why corn and grass ethanol is a bad idea.

The Great Corn Con -The Senate’s preposterous new ethanol bill.

Key quotes:

So, even if Congress mandated that all of America’s corn be turned into ethanol, it would yield only about 28.3 billion gallons, far less than the mandated volume. And, clearly, most of America’s corn is still going to be used for animal feed, family barbecues, and high-fructose corn syrup.

In May 2006, former CIA Director John Deutch, who’s now a chemistry professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal in which he claimed that producing enough ethanol from switch grass (a fast-growing plant that’s native to North America) would require vast amounts of acreage. Deutch estimated that producing enough cellulosic ethanol to replace 1 million barrels of oil per day—roughly equivalent to 22 billion gallons of ethanol per year—would require planting 25 million acres of land in switch grass. That’s an area about the size of Kentucky, or about 5 percent of the 440 million acres of cropland in the United States.

So, what about using more ethanol from sugar cane? Well, the United States could, at least in theory, grow more cane. But that wouldn’t make much sense, given that Brazil can produce it at far lower cost. And, thanks to pressure from farm-state senators, Congress has effectively limited the use of Brazilian ethanol with its $0.54 per-gallon tariff on foreign ethanol.

(Corn, Grass) Ethanol is not the answer!

Categories: Environment, Politics.