What Others Think: Ethanol vision is a flawed oneImagine a plant that can be easily grown on farms all over America. Imagine it can be turned into a fuel through a simple process. Imagine we burn that fuel in our cars to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
By: Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Worthington Daily Globe
Imagine a plant that can be easily grown on farms all over America. Imagine it can be turned into a fuel through a simple process. Imagine we burn that fuel in our cars to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
That sounds wonderful. But that plant is not corn. That process is not simple. And that fuel is not ethanol.
It was a nice image while it lasted, however. Americans loved the idea of a clean, green fuel that could take the place of petroleum.
But the vision was flawed from the start — which was way back in the Carter administration. The Iranian hostage crisis prompted Jimmy Carter to look for a homegrown alternative to Mideast oil. Cornell University scientist David Pimental began studying the concept. He added up the energy used in manufacturing ethanol and compared it to the amount of energy the fuel produces. There was a net loss, he decided. But the farm lobby succeeded in winning tax breaks and subsidies for the fuel.
“We’re actually importing more oil to produce ethanol,” is Pimental’s assessment. “It’s not making us oil-independent, and it’s costing us a lot of money.” ...
As president, Barack Obama should stand up to the special interests in Congress. If these guys want pork, let them feed that corn to their pigs.
Then the new president can focus on finding real solutions to our energy problems.