The Ethanol Fraud

Did you happen to see the small story on page A3 of yesterday’s Albuquerque Journal: Study: Ethanol Wastes Energy (no link available at the Journal’s website). I did some checking; and here is what I found:
“There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel,” says David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell. “These strategies are not sustainable.”
The study provides these estimates of the energy waste for ethanol:
*corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
*switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
*wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.
Ethanol is NOT renewable energy. Moreover, it actually adds to pollution, since it requires more energy in its production than is provided by the ethanol.
Update: The powerful ethanol lobby (you know, the one that has been ripping us off for years — think ADM) was quick to discredit the study. See this, for example. Typical of this group’s self-serving interest, they criticize the scholars for receiving some payment from the energy industry. They don’t criticize the scholarship itself. Did you notice who will benefit by continuing ethanol subsidies and gasoline-ethanol regulations? (Hint: it won’t be you.) The Iowa caucuses should be more fun than usual in 2008.

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