Just more proof that the idea of ethanol as a fuel source is stupid.
For those of you out there thinking that ethanol is the answer to our rising gas prices, there are several fundamental things you need to be made aware of.
First of all, check out the commodities market. If I understand this correctly, you can buy barrels of oil to invest in. What happens then is that barrel you purchased is taken off the market and not used for consumption. With the rise in prices for barrels of oil, is it any wonder why it is a sound investment? So, lets say you and some friends buy 10 barrels of oil. No big deal. Then what if other groupings do the same? Then what about other countries? See where this is going?
If everyone starts purchasing oil to invest in, and essentially sit on, the price of oil will continue to rise as the supply dries up. It is an excellent way to create economic subterfuge, if you are an enemy of the United States, too. So while you make more money investing in oil, you are part of the problem of the continued rise in gas prices. You are choking yourself with both hands.
Something else you should know about – ethanol itself is not efficient. And to boot, it replaces rising fuel costs with a rising cost in food.
To produce ethanol, corn is used. It is a plentiful crop but when that resource is used in fuel, it is being taken away from farms that are using that as feed for livestock or even corporations that use corn in their product, like Coca-Cola which uses it in the production of their soft drinks. There are indirect effects and direct effects, of course, all of which drive up the cost of food and the demand for corn which only further drives up the cost as well.
Here is something of interest that I found in my egg carton this week as I went grocery shopping. It was from Country Hen eggs, and it struck me because now the anti-ethanol movement is finally starting to take shape. I will reproduce the pamphlet here because the message is important – I just hope the folks at Country Hen don’t mind me sharing this with anyone who cares as I am sure that was their intention, too.
Dear Egg Buyer,
Corn, Wheat and Feed – Wow!
The cost of feed is going up, and up, and up! Our mixed feed has gone up 49%! Our percentage of increase in costs from 2006 to 2008 was the following:
- Corn 85%
- Diesel 57%
- Wheat 102%
- Layer Feed 49%
- What is Ethanol?
I never knew about ethanol until recently. You get oil and nitrogen and you can get fuel from corn. Right now, 20% of the corn crop in the US is being used for ethanol. The three biggest companies producing ethanol are POET, Archer Daniels Midland and VeraSun. Some US farmers have their own ethanol companies.
Dr. David Pimentel of Cornell
There are great problems with corn. Just last week, Dr. David Pimentel, Professor of Ecology and Agricultural Sciences, talked to us. He is one of the world’s experts on ethanol concerning corn. At present, the US uses a total of about 333 billion gallons of oil. If some of the farmers andsome compaies want to use 40% of the corn crop in the US for ethanol, that would only be 4% of the US gas needs. Why bother with ethanol? Also just to produce one gallon of ethanol, you need 1.4 gallons of gasoline (equivalent energy). That is awful!
Dr. Pimentel Point Out Corn
Corn is the crop with the worst impact on soil erosion. Corn production requires a greater quantity of insecticides and herbicides than other crops. Corn is the crop that uses the most nitrogen fertilizer. The nitrogen leaking from corn production down the Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico is the cause of “The Dead Zone”, which is the size of New Jersey. The “Dead Zone” has a huge decrease in fish life and plant life.
What Will Happen?
The percentage of corn crops for ethanol will go higher. Government subsidies of $6 billion will go higher. In addition, about 70% of corn is fed to animals. We can’t stop using the corn for animals to use it for ethanol instead. We, the Country Hen, will tell our customers that some of these businesses are not telling the truth. We will pass on some price increase, but we cannot turn over the entire increase to our customers.
George S. Bass
If you are interested in reading more about Dr. Pimentel, here is an article published on the net two years ago that details some more of his argument against ethanol as a fuel source. I still contend that hydrogen is a much better alternative to supplement the current fuel infrastructure as well as to provide a bridge for a stand-alone fuel source of the future.