Friday, May 13, 2011

The great fuel fail: ethanol from corn



The great fuel fail: ethanol from corn

The US's vast subsidy of ethanol production for petrol is a disastrous case of special-interest capture of public policy

Ed Pilkington with ethanol plant worker in Craig, Missouri
Guardian correspondent Ed Pilkington (right) with ethanol plant worker in Craig, Missouri, during the making of a 2008 Guardian film on the topic. Photograph: guardian.co.uk
The American government continues to provide unnecessary, unwise subsidies to special interests. Those related to the production of ethanol for fuel are among the worst.

The historical mission of the US department of agriculture (USDA) has been to promote American agriculture. Presumably, that is the justification, however tenuous, for a grant and loan guarantee programme to promote the installation of "ethanol blender", or "flexible fuel", pumps at petrol stations. The Obama administration intends to install 10,000 flexible fuel pumps nationwide within five years. "Flex-fuel pumps will give Americans a choice to purchase domestically produced renewable transportation fuels," secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack said on 11 April.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/may/12/ethanol-subsidy-usda

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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

Your idea?