Ethanol: Science Based Solution or Special Interest Welfare

Posted on November 29, 2007  Comments (6)

I believe the way to deal with the need for energy resources should be primarily science and economics based. I do not think it should be based on who can best reward politicians for giving them a bunch of federal dollars. Ethanol Craze Cools As Doubts Multiply by Lauren Etter, Wall Street Journal

A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development concluded that biofuels “offer a cure [for oil dependence] that is worse than the disease.” A National Academy of Sciences study said corn-based ethanol could strain water supplies. The American Lung Association expressed concern about a form of air pollution from burning ethanol in gasoline. Political cartoonists have taken to skewering the fuel for raising the price of food to the world’s poor.

A study coauthored by Nobel-prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen said corn ethanol might exacerbate climate change as the added fertilizer used to grow corn raised emissions of a very potent greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide. The ethanol industry replies to that one with an Energy Department study concluding that use of ethanol reduces greenhouse-gas emissions by 18% to 28% on a per-gallon basis, provided that coal isn’t used to run ethanol plants.

Mr. Dinneen, who has been lobbying on ethanol so long he’s known as the “reverend of renewable fuels,” says he’s “reasonably confident” Congress will raise the ethanol mandate. He says he’s talking with the military, labor groups, Southern black churches and others about how ethanol can help them. “We’ve got to build the biggest, baddest coalition we can.”

I am skeptical of claims that mainly focus on getting the government to subsidize your production and erect trade barriers to foreign supplies to the USA. I don’t mind a few $Billion even (quite a lot of money) to be invested in research on biofules but just creating a massive payment, taxation and regulation scheme to funnel money to special interests is not a good idea.

Related: Peak SoilEthanol Demand Threatens Food PricesFarming Without Subsidies in New ZealandMIT’s Energy “Manhattan Project”posts on energyIs alcohol the energy answer?Biofuels: Green energy or grim reaper?Farming Washington for HandoutsWashington Waste – Paying Money it Doesn’t Have to Special InterestsChina and the Sugar Industry Tax ConsumersStudy Slams Economics Of Ethanol And Biodiesel

6 Responses to “Ethanol: Science Based Solution or Special Interest Welfare”

  1. CuriousCat: Biofuels use Could Worsen Global Warming
    February 9th, 2008 @ 9:27 am

    “The biofuels themselves produce less greenhouse gases than fossil fuels, but not nearly enough to offset the carbon dioxide that is released when land is cleared and plowed up to produce crops…”

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Problems Using Corn as Biofuel
    March 2nd, 2009 @ 8:36 am

    […] Ethanol: Science Based Solution or Special Interest Welfare – Kudzu Biofuel Potential – Student Algae Bio-fuel Project by curiouscat   Tags: […]

  3. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Algae Farm Aims to Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel
    June 30th, 2009 @ 9:43 am

    […] Ethanol: Science Based Solution or Special Interest Welfare – Converting Emissions to Biofuels – Student Algae Bio-fuel Project – Kudzu Biofuel Potential – […]

  4. Inflation Shows Up in Huge Commodity Price Increases at Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog
    April 17th, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    […] Related: Food and Energy Costs July 2008 – Food Price Inflation is Quite High – You Can Help Reduce Extreme Poverty – Creating a World Without Poverty – Ethanol: Science Based Solution or Special Interest Welfare […]

  5. Congress Eases Bank Laws – 1999 at Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog
    September 10th, 2013 @ 2:52 am

    This is a great view into how both parties foolishly risked the economy to provide favors to their big donors and golfing buddies…

  6. Biomass Fueled Power Generator from All Power Labs » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    February 14th, 2015 @ 11:14 am

    They reject the copyright cartel closed science mindset; which is something I like. Their product takes waste biomass; for example walnut shells, coconut shells, hardwood chips (Oak, Beech), softwood chips (Douglas Fir, Pine)…

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