FLASHBACK - The Case Against More Ethanol: It’s Simply Bad for Environment | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

FLASHBACK - The Case Against More Ethanol: It’s Simply Bad for Environment

Ethanol, which seemed like a good idea when huge federal subsidies and mandates were put in place a decade ago, now seems like a very poor idea indeed. Yet despite years of bad ethanol reviews, some prominent figures (including former Senator Tim Wirth and attorney C. Boyden Gray in the accompanying article) offer a revanchist argument: Ethanol is not really so bad after all, and we should significantly increase its blending with gasoline from 10 to 30 percent. As Samuel Johnson remarked of a second marriage, this narrative reads like a triumph of hope over experience.

The essence of the argument that we need more, not less, ethanol in our gas tanks is linked to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming mid-term review of President Obama’s fuel economy standards, established in 2012. Ethanol boosters say now is the time to ramp up the ethanol/gasoline blend to 30 percent because it will reduce harmful particulate pollution, improve gas mileage, and lower gas prices. As for the environmental costs of increased corn production, they contend that vastly improved agricultural methods are steadily reducing the use of chemicals and fertilizers on cornfields.

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