Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com The Barnyard: Corn Is For Food Not Fuel

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Corn Is For Food Not Fuel

Great video from Reason TV and the WSJ that repeats many of my objections to ethanol as an alternative fuel to gasoline, now I am interested in non-food based biofuels as a supplement to our energy supplies but they will never be able to replace petroleum completely.

I like the point made that if ethanol really was a viable alternative it wouldn't need government subsidies of taxpayer dollars to survive. There are quite a few very good points made so take the time to watch it.


Gayle said...

We grow feed corn. Not a lot of it, only approximately 65 acres, but we don't sell it for fuel. We sell it for what it was meant to be sold for: to feed livestock. We don't get paid as much for it, but some things are more important than money. Livestock need to eat too!

defiant_infidel said...

Good for you, Goat! An excellent review of the numerous negatives of ethanol.

Two items additional, that I would humbly suggest be brought to light and were interestingly not highlighted in the otherwise very well done video:

1.) Pending the vehicle's engine and mass, as well as its' coefficient of aerodynamic friction, as well as the lesser BTU heat output per pound when compared directly to gasoline... a driver of an ethanol fueled vehicle will net anywhere from a 20-25% LOSS of fuel mileage per gallon. That compounds the well covered extra costs of creating the fuel in the first place, and totally offsets the slightly lesser cost per gallon on a retail basis at the pump (an alleged and commonly extolled "virtue" of ethanol). It is simple math.

It also means you are burning more gallons per given distance of driving. That too would increase the amount of pollution produced per given distance vs. gasoline.

2.) We are currently devoting approximately one third of our nation's corn crop production to creation of ethanol. That ethanol is in turn supplying us with only 3% of our nation's fuel consumption... at today's consumption rate... not tomorrow's! If we cut down and devoted ALL of our nation's corn crop to ethanol production... it would only offset our current gasoline consumption by 18%! Again, this is at today's fuel consumption amount... not tomorrow's!

And then what do we use to feed our own people, our livestock and export out of country for other people??

I wish more people could understand this... However, as you and I both know, it is easy for the disconnected to chant popular slogans and sing-songs than to become informed and involved in serious debate of facts.

Great post, Sir!