More on the corn ethanol fiasco

January 9, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Corn ethanol is a terribly costly and damaging joke that has been inflicted on us by politicians looking for something that looks like a fix, rather than doing the much harder work to find real solutions to our energy problems.   I’ve posted on corn ethanol before, and it’s now time to pull down the tent and admit failure. Why? consider these new revelations:

The Environmental Working Group has just issued a report that finds that 75 percent of all renewable fuels tax subsidies in 2007 went to environmentally damaging corn-ethanol production. In addition, the corn ethanol industry, teetering on the edge of collapse despite billions already wasted in subsidies on it, now wants additional billions for a bailout

Consider, also, that corn ethanol receives four times the amount of federal subsidies of “all other forms of renewable energy, including solar, wind and geothermal power.”

What’s a great substitute for corn ethanol?  Energy conservation.   Consider this talk by Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute.  It is much cheaper to save fuel than to produce it.  My sister-in-law is a mover and shaker in the green wing of a major architectural firm.  According to her. Lovins’ is widely recognized to be spot-on in his assessments of how to deal with our energy crisis.  It you take the time to listen to this 2006 TED talk by Lovins, you’ll fall out of your chair when you hear his many statistics, which give me great hope.  If only we had the courage to change our wasteful American way of life . . .


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Category: Energy, Environment

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Mel says:

    Duane Andreas of ADM contributes millions to politicians across the spectrum. What Andreas wants, Andreas gets. And Andreas wants billions in tax dollars so he can keep flying his private plane around.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Incredible: Congress did something right when it cut the tax break for producing corn ethanol. It did so after wasting $45 Billion on them, which is tragic, given the many worthy projects that did not get funding.

    When the U.S. Congress adjourned for the holidays on Friday, December 23, its departure sealed the fate of subsidized ethanol production.

    During its session, the Congress did not renew a tax break for U.S. production of corn-based ethanol that had become increasingly unpopular across a wide area of the political spectrum.

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