Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Is Ethanol Getting a Bum Rap?

Here's a Business Week article from May '08 that provides a level and even tempered report on the present state of ethanol.

Ethanol is taking a tumble. Once hyped as a magic brew for reducing both oil addiction and global warming, alcohol made from corn kernels is now being accused both of triggering a global food crisis and doing more ecological harm than good. Ethanol critics, ranging from environmental groups to pig farmers facing high feed prices, blame mandates from Washington and Brussels stating that billions of gallons of fuel must come from ethanol or other plant-based fuels.
There are grains of truth in this backlash, experts say. "There are bad biofuels and good biofuels," says Daniel Sperling, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California at Davis. Corn-based ethanol ranks as mediocre. Yet it is only a minor cause of high food prices, and better biofuels are on the horizon...

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