Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Time for a course change: Ethanol

About a year ago, someone with more knowlege than me wrote that Ethanol is a crock ( CombatEffective Article ). I replied "yes, but it is a good crock" and went into detail on several reasons why it is good that we are burning some Ethanol in our gasoline.

But often in life, course changes must be made.

Even as I wrote that Ethanol is a good crock, I knew that there would be a time for a course change (and I said so in my comments at that time). I didn't know it would be so soon.

We are now producing and using a substantial amount of ethanol. Especially corn based ethanol. Maybe too much. Businessweek has a good chain of article on the debate of how much is too much. (also, see notes below) ethanol-facts

We are not using it just for E85 blend, but also as an additive to replace MTBE in most regular gasoline.

The use of corn for Ethanol is beginning to impact our food supply (although only it is only a minimal impact, with petrolium prices being a bigger impact) and if the current trends continue, this could get very problematic.

GM and Ford, (and others) are scamming us on the Flexfuel by getting a break in their CAFE standards that is out of proportion with reality. Public Citizen Article

Therefore three things must change:

  1. Subsidies for making Ethanol from corn must be reduced and in the interim some of them should go for Ethanol from other sources.
  2. The CAFE credit for flexfuel cars must be reduced or done away with.
  3. Continue or increase concentration on renewable fuels other than Ethanol.

These course changes should be a slow taper off of the subsidies we have used in the past and should promote other sources of Ethanol and other renewable fuels.

1. Businessweek-Ethanol
2. has a variety of good statistics on Ethanol and Petrolium - especially in their May and June 2007 archives)


dw said...

Hate to say it but Chavez warned that the food supply would be affected and I rejected that because 'he' said it.

No end to the stories and support for capitolism and I agree with them BUT! Pure capitolism is like the legal system. Once in motion it is a machine that drives itself. And rightly so cuz a steering wheel means bias human interferrence? Is that good? Is that bad?

You tell me cuz I doan have a clue unless a sense of morality and fair play can intervene the machine is pushed off track by unseen forces (men with power).

Capitolism is as good as it gets. The inherant (serious) problems are proof of our sorry lacking and all the unacademic obversations of human nature are 'superstitutions?

Just thinking out loud..

TRex said...

I too have rejected good information just because it came from a bad source. Sometimes they too are right. (But, not often)

Pure capitolism is OK, but because human nature and the world we live in are not perfect, I like a bit of socialism for seasoning. Not too much, like we have today - but just a little.

And yes, the capitolism machine does get pushed off track, both by forces of nature, and by unseen men with power and evil intent.

Still though, you are correct, capitolism IS "as good as it gets"

Much like the old adage about democracy: It is the worst of systems, excepting all others.