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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.

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Bio-fuels / Agri-fuels

Biodiesel has an Energy Balance Ratio (EBR) of 3.24 to 1. It gives back more than 3 times more energy than it takes to produce it (grow, harvest, convert and ship it to market).

This is the highest energy balance ratio of any fuel. It can be made from Rapeseed (canola) which can have 3 or more crops a year in some parts of the US. I think that makes a lot more sense than using taxpayer dollars to pay farmers not to grow crops as is being done now! Studies are being done with other higher yield crops like switchgrass and mustard-seed. Even algae has been used in tests with very high yields.

Biodiesel contains no sulfur or aromatics, and use of biodiesel in a diesel engine results in a large reduction of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. A U.S. Department of Energy study showed that the production and use of biodiesel, compared to petroleum diesel, resulted in a 78.5% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Blending Biodiesel with petroleum Diesel substantially reduces it's sulfur emissions and would be a cost effective way to get petroleum Diesel to meet the new low sulfur diesel regulations. Instead we are being charged even more $$ at the pumps for petroleum Diesel because the oil industry says they are passing on the added cost to do the addidional refining necessary to meet the new low sulphur regs.

For more info on this great alternative fuel check out the website operated by the National Biodiesel Board ( or just do a web search on Biodiesel.

John Stossel

This is a link to an article by John Stossel, published on, Wednesday, June 20th, espousing free markets, that could have easily been written by Dr. Paul. We need to write Stossel and request that he showcase Dr. Paul on 20/20.

The mono-culture surrounding

The mono-culture surrounding the production of ethonol from corn is another environmental disaster waiting to happen. The amount of fertilizer required and the amount of precious water used make it an empty promise in terms of actually producing energy.

I don't think there is one answer, and the heavily lobbied federal government is certainly not going to come up with the best solution. Hemp and switchgrass are better options at this point, and if you free the ingenuity of America from the shackles of government, who know what innovative solutions we will come up with.

Industrial Hemp

Once again Industrial hemp is ignored as a fuel crop. Why the focus on corn? Didn't Chavez and Castro make it clear that employing food crops for fuel crops is immoral? But food crops are not the only crops to produce ethanol or biodiesel. Sure industrial hemp is highly nutritious food crop, where a quarter teaspoon of hemp seed provides the omega fatty and amino acids to assure vegan diets all the proteins they need for great health, and that's a good thing seeing how oily fish is becoming scarce and mercury laden. But industrial hemp for fuel needs no fertilizers, no persticides, and can grow in poor soils with little water. Congressman Ron Paul supports industrial hemp as a crop for fuel, food, fiber and feed. I'm sure most of you here can tell me more about industrial hemp than I know, but it should be brought up in conversation. Furthernore, because ethanol and biodiesel can be produced "at home", farmers can run machinery and rural communities can afford to make this change while we all figure how to afford those costly solar panels that PEAK OIL promotes. Meanwhile, I'd like to suggest Congressman Ron Paul supporters, drive the speed limit, let the car behind you read your bumper stickers. I'm getting 60 more miles to my tank.

How about other sources?

Hemp was criminialized many decades ago when it was learned that it could put the oil companies out of business. It's time to look into it again as well as other viable sources...even if it takes civil disobedience. We could be paying people--even you and I-- to grow something that could be turned into fuel instead of paying people not to grow anything. Forget about corn for the reasons stated. How has Brazil become energy independent? Hint: they started thirty years ago when we were having the same conversations here in the U.S.. I think Australia uses pig waste to make bio-diesel. Surely the U.S. could come up with something.

Any new direction will be costly and not show much short-term benefit in the corporate sense. That's why solar panels are so one is demanding them and no one is mass-producing them. Flex fuel cars have been around for 25 years. Where's the filling station for the alternate fuel?

We even used it as money.

Hemp Up! MJ down!

Convert the machinery to Ethanol

Have the trucks run on ethanol.

Ethanol is a sham

Now fellow friends and supporters of Dr. Paul, If we can just get Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's Energy(Peak Oil) presentations in Congress in front of Dr. Paul, We would have a REAL energy plan.

Dr. Paul HAS GOT TO learn about Peak Oil quickly. Please someone who can, get a couple of these presentations to Dr. Paul to read.

If you haven't heard about Peak Oil yourself, Please read the below to get a place to start.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett(R) from Maryland Minutes before Congress.

Transcript: Third Peak Oil Presentation by Congressman Bartlett

Here is a Peak Oil Primer btw.

And another one by Roscoe.

Peak Oil is why we are IN IRAQ to begin with and Why We won't leave regardless of which party gets elected(unless Dr. Paul or Dennis gets in)


Peak Oil is a scam. It's artificial scarcity.

The memos from some 10 years ago say they will do it and caim peak oil.

If it was a problem then, why keep it in a memo?

Father, I mean, Government knows best.

Hmm. Don't we eat corn? Don't cows and chickens eat corn? Produce more corn? I wonder. What if no more is produced? Don't we pay farmers not to produce? What happens to the price of food? Oh, my. This is way over my head. I guess the government knows best. I am dumb, but they are smart.

Just for the fun of it

alan laney

There is a poll on the Arkansas Republican Party homepage that has Ron Paul winning with 75%! And remember, we're home State for Huckabee. The poll is still accepting votes, so hit it, and hit it hard!

alan laney