Jun 12, 2009

Just have to get Iowa onboard...

Stumbled across this looking for something else. It's the abstract of a UC Berkeley Engineering study on corn ethanol.
It is shown here that one burns 1 gallon of gasoline equivalent in fossil fuels to produce 1 gallon of gasoline equivalent as ethanol from corn. Then corn ethanol is burned as a gasoline additive or fuel. Burning the same amount of fuel twice to drive a car once is equivalent to halving the fuel efficiency of those cars that burn corn ethanol, and will cause manifold damage to air, surface water, soil and aquifers. The overall energy balance of corn conversion to ethanol demonstrates that 65% of the input energy is lost during the conversion. Carbon dioxide sequestration by corn is nullified when corn ethanol is burned. Therefore, we conclude, subsidizing ethanol from corn as a gasoline oxygenate is one of the most misguided public policy decisions made in recent history.

College freshmen get it (though the crisp 1 to 1 ratio above may be a little more blurry than that). We need to stop subsidizing (some say to the tune of $5B) this wrongheaded approach that is pushing up food prices, increasing our dependence on petrochemicals, and exacerbating the problem it's touted to solve.


Blogger AngryChad said...

Totally off topic, I can't believe people are still using coal and gas grills. I fuel my cookouts with beef. Sure I have to use about 30 steaks to cook one steak, and it takes a while to get them going, but the extra beef flavor added to my beef is just too awesome to pass up.

8:41 AM  
Blogger jim said...

Abso-f-ing-lutely! I've also started fueling my children with children. High-grade protein (we only buy organic children) and helping with the population issue too! We're super green.

3:31 PM  

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