What's Wrong with Ethanol?
John Stossel tells us:
Among some of the points made in this 5 minute piece:
Most of the the politicians running for president love ethanol: Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, John Edwards & Mitt Romney all want the government to subsidize the development of ethanol. At the June 5th debate, Romney went so far as to say this country needs an ethanol "Apollo Project."
Politicians extol the virtues of ethanol: It is made from corn, it is natural, and we grow lots of corn. But they conveniently leave out the problems: It takes almost as much energy to produce ethanol as is produced when it is burned. It takes lots of fossil fuel to make the fertilizers to grow the corn, to run the tractors, to build the silos, to get the corn to a processing plant, to run the processing plant, etc. Further, ethanol cannot be moved in pipelines, because it degrades. This means using many more big, polluting trucks to move the ethanol - first as corn from the fields to the processing plants, and then from the processing plants to the coasts.
Bottom line: Net energy production is roughly zero. Further, corn for ethanol means: More water used for farming, more fertilizer, and also higher food prices, not just for corn, but chicken, pork & beef too, since corn is used as feed.
In other words, it makes no sense. If it did, we obviously wouldn't need taxpayer dollars to subsidize it, nor would the government need to mandate its use by fiat. If it made sense, people would be clamoring to get into the business.
So why do so many politicians like the idea of ethanol, in spite of all the evidence against it? In one word: Iowa.
Iowa 1) grows a lot of corn and 2) is the first primary state. This is what politics is about. Forget about whether something works or not. If supporting it means getting votes, politicians are all for it.
Thanks to Zeal for Truth for the video.