Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ethanol or Tequila?


The ridiculous push for Ethanol has even driven Mexican Agave farmers to burn off their tequila-producing agave land and plant it with corn so they can cash in on the ethanol craze.

Here's a little insight into the ethanol hoax, reprinted without any permission or anything from The American Enterprise Online:

The most perverse aspect of subsidized ethanol production was uncovered by David Pimentel. He calculates that it actually consumes more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than the ethanol itself provides. While a 2002 report from the Department of Agriculture claims that increased corn yields have converted ethanol from a net energy waste to a net energy gain, Pimentel’s 2003 study maintains that ethanol uses 29 percent more energy than it creates due to tractor fuel, irrigation pumps, and other inputs. According to Pimentel, 99,119 BTUs of energy are expended to create the 77,000 BTUs in a gallon of ethanol. In other words, the government is keeping farmers busy by paying them to waste energy.

Of course, the other fun thing is that our government (read: Senators in corn-producing states) has decided to subsidize the corn farmers, since if the "playing field were level" (hey, wait - aren't liberals always bitching about uneven playing fields?) the cost of growing corn would make ethanol more expensive than gasoline. So now Archer-Daniels-Midland gets something about $400 Million a year from the government to grow corn in South Dakota and Iowa (hmm, they have primaries in Iowa, don't they?). Land that should be left alone as forest or meadow is now being stripped and fertilized for corn crops, which adds tons of nitrate contamination (another baddie according to all the greenies!) to groundwater. And burning ethanol, far from being "cleaner" than petrol actually adds more crap to the air, water, and soil when you factor in the fertilizing, farming equipment, irrigation, production and the ethanol exhaust itself.
And don't forget, many states have mandated ethanol content in their gas (and therefore mandated subsidies) - which, if eliminated, would actually help the environment, not hurt it.

But, hey. Don't let facts get in the way of feel-good greenspeak! Corn is renewable! Who cares how much it costs to produce! Who cares if it artificially drives the cost of feed corn and food corn (that'd be corn for animals and people to eat, respectively) through the roof! The mamacitas in Mexico aren't going to be able to afford to make tortillas! But who cares! Poverty and starvation in Mexico ain't our problem, we have to quit burning oil!

Jeez. Does it ever end? Here is a good article with more scholarly presentation than my venting.

1 comment:

jack42 said...

and hey, it's no nukes.

might we have some more, please?