Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Ethanol Scam: One of America's Political Boondoggles, via Rolling Stone

Although this article came out last June in Rolling Stone magazine, it is an excellent discussion of the scam that is corn ethanol. As you know, I'm all for eco-friendliness, but through political manipulation, lobbying (ie: bribery), and as Rolling Stone puts it, boondoggling, corn ethanol has become the country's fastest growing biofuel, while at the same time being the least efficient and most fossil-fuel intensive to produce. For every 1 gallon of fossil fuel you put in, you only get 1.3 gallons of ethanol out. Add in the chemical pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, and the fact that ethanol provides up to 20% less energy than petrol, ethanol efficiency drops into negative numbers. (previous seep post)
If the numbers for corn-based ethanol are so bad, why are we subsidizing this horrific waste of food when there are starving people around the world? It's an environmental and social catastrophe. It seems that for many Americans, filling your SUV is more important than feeding a hungry family. I know that may sound harsh and unreasonable, but when you lay it all out, that is really the choice that we're making.
Who has the political guts to stop allowing corporate interests to dictate national energy policy and start making rational, well-thought out decisions that will provide us with energy security into the next century? Obama? Hillary?
Nobody yet.


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