What are the benefits from America selecting Ethanol as an alternative fuel?
I always wonder who will read this information about ethanol and what the real truth and issues about mass producing ethanol will cost the American taxpayer, both short and long term. The American public needs to wake up and realize the race to produce ethanol as an alternate fuel will not be the quick answer, short or long term, and reduce America”s immediate dependency on foreign oil.
Folks, we are getting the royal green shaft on a technology that will pollute more, cost more and will not even make a dent in becoming an alternative fuel to gasoline. Does ethanol really help? What will ethanol do to the cost of food? Will ethanol cause food shortages? What will happen to an automobile that burns ethanol or E85 and the car’s engine is not a flex fuel engine?
This information on ethanol has been around for a while but is the average American who needs to know the truth taking time to read this information and discover the inconvenient truth about ethanol.
Will ethanol make a good substitute for gasoline?
“But as a gasoline substitute, ethanol has big problems: Its energy density is one-third less than gasoline, which means you have to burn more of it to get the same amount of power. It also has a nasty tendency to absorb water, so it can’t be transported in existing pipelines and must be distributed by truck or rail, which is tremendously inefficient.”
“Ethanol production in the United States does not benefit the nation’s energy security, its agriculture, the economy, or the environment,” according to the study by Cornell’s David Pimentel and Berkeley’s Tad Patzek. They conclude the country would be better off investing in solar, wind and hydrogen energy.”
“The researchers included such factors as the energy used in producing the crop, costs that were not used in other studies that supported ethanol production, said Pimentel.
The study also omitted $3 billion in state and federal government subsidies that go toward ethanol production in the United States each year, payments that mask the true costs, Pimentel said.”
Without the government paying a substantial kickback ( our federal government calls this a subsidy) and (guess who is paying for the kickback?), ethanol would have low consideration as an alternative fuel for gasoline.
“Another misconception is that ethanol is green. In fact, corn production depends on huge amounts of fossil fuel — not just the diesel needed to plow fields and transport crops, but also the vast quantities of natural gas used to produce fertilizers. Runoff from industrial-scale cornfields also silts up the Mississippi River and creates a vast dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico every summer. What’s more, when corn ethanol is burned in vehicles, it is as dirty as conventional gasoline and does little to solve global warming: E85 reduces carbon dioxide emissions by a modest fifteen percent at best, while fueling the destruction of tropical forests.
Thanks in large part to the ethanol craze, the price of beef, poultry and pork in the United States rose more than three percent during the first five months of last year. In some parts of the country, hog farmers now find it cheaper to fatten their animals on trail mix, French fries and chocolate bars. And since America provides two-thirds of all global corn exports, the impact is being felt around the world. In Mexico, tortilla prices have jumped sixty percent, leading to food riots. In Europe, butter prices have spiked forty percent, and pork prices in China are up twenty percent. By 2025, according to Runge and Senauer, rising food prices caused by the demand for ethanol and other biofuels could cause as many as 600 million more people to go hungry worldwide. (These are figures from last year and the figures for increased food prices are going to be much higher in 2008).
In the end, the ethanol boom is another manifestation of America’s blind faith that technology will solve all our problems. Thirty years ago, nuclear power was the answer. Then it was hydrogen. Biofuels may work out better, especially if mandates are coupled with tough caps on greenhouse-gas emissions. Still, biofuels are, at best, a huge gamble. They may help cushion the fall when cheap oil vanishes, but if we rely on ethanol to save the day, we could soon find ourselves forced to make a choice between feeding our SUVs and feeding children in the Third World. And we all know how that decision will go.”