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News Link • Energy

Ethanol Fraud and Why You Pay More at the Pump

• LIZ PEEK, The Fiscal Times

Why in the world is the government still forcing ethanol down the gas tanks of American consumers? Ethanol was meant to help clean up the air and to keep gasoline prices in check. It does neither. Instead, it degrades the environment and is currently boosting gas prices. Talk about a teachable moment. No program could better explain why so many Americans oppose Big Government.   

Most Americans probably assume that corn-based ethanol is “green” -- it is not.  Numerous studies have shown that ethanol use does not significantly lower emissions, but instead actually harms the environment. That conclusion has led numerous green groups to abandon their earlier support for ethanol.

In 2011, Greenpeace and the Clean Air Task Force (in conjunction with several business and farm organizations) requested hearings on the Renewable Fuel Standard that mandated ethanol use. In a letter to Senators Inhofe and Boxer, they cite a study by The National Academy of Sciences, which found “that using corn ethanol in engine fuel is increasing air pollutants, exacerbating global warming, degrading water sources, and damaging biodiversity.”  

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Leslie Fish
Entered on:

I've been studying ethanol fuel for more than 30 years, and I can tell you that most of the objections to it are based on half-truths and outright lies. 

First off, it's only food-grade -- drinkable -- ethanol that has to be made from grain (such as corn), fruit, or other food sources.  *Fuel*-grade ethanol can be made from cellulose -- in other words, any vegetable trash -- and there are at least four different methods for doing this.  None of them require excessive amounts of water, and at least two of them can be (and often are) solar powered.  I can describe the non-proprietary methods in detail, if anyone asks.  There are at least six companies, right now, churning out industrial-sized lots of fuel-grade ethanol made from cellulose.  You won't find their products advertised or sold to the public, because the vast majority of them are bought up by the US military -- which should tell you something. 

Second, the products of oxydized -- burned, as in an engine -- ethanol are water and CO2.  Only a total fanatic of the Global Warming hoax could believe that CO2 is more dangerous than the products of the burning of gasoline.

Third, the cost of producing cellulosic ethanol vary with the method used;  the simplest and slowest -- the three-yeast process, especially when using solar distillation -- is cheaper than the cost of shipping the fuel for distribution, and also produces healthy livestock feed as a by-product.  The proprietary processes are faster, but also more expensive, and don't produce livestock feed.  You pay your money, and you take your choice;  let the market decide.

 It's certainly true that govt. subsidies for fuel-ethanol production have increased opportunities for cheats and corruption, but that hardly compares with the govt. subsidies -- and political maneuvers -- that have been given to the petroleum industry.  Indeed, it's easy to guess where the lies about fuel ethanol came from -- and the "scientific studies" that give them respectability.  The petrochemical companies have dominated our economy and swayed governments for the last century;  you don't think they'll give up that level of money and power without a fight, do you?








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