Ethanol Continues to Be Oversold As Magic Potion
Corn-derived ethanol has been heralded as the magic potion that can drive us to the promised land of energy freedom while at the same time slowing global warming and helping America’s farmers. To that end, the ethanol industry is urging Congress to increase the share of ethanol required in gasoline to 15 percent from 10.
This is not a surprising request, considering that the industry’s facilities are 20% idle and that several large ethanol refiners have recently filed for bankruptcy, despite a 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit and a high tariff to limit imports of sugar-based ethanol from Brazil and other countries.
Like most alternative fuel sources, the potential contribution of ethanol has been oversold. It has been estimated that converting the entire U.S. corn crop to ethanol would yield energy equal to a mere 12% of our gasoline consumption.
~Bernard Weinstein, professor of economics at University of North Texas, in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (HT: NCPA)