Ethanol Pros And Cons

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In other words, let the technology drive its own economics. If ethanol is technically viable, it will discover its own place in the economy. When it is highly subsidized, there is no way to tell where it’s true economic strength lies. “Ethanol is propped up by more than 200 tax breaks and subsidies worth at least $5.5 billion a year” (Goodell). And unfortunately biofuel production is such a huge part of the U.S. economy that removing the financial support could cause an economic meltdown the full extent of which cannot be predicted. For the U.S. or any other country to grow enough supplies to manufacture significant amounts of bio-based fuels their agricultural production dedicated to food must be compromised. The raw materials for corn based …show more content…
Millions of acres of farmland are needed to satisfy demand. “The big growers of corn have sold us a bill of goods. Some people are making a lot of money because of ethanol. But as they divert production from food to fuel, food prices inevitably will rise” (Leno 11). Since we only have a finite amount of land and only certain areas are good for farming the need for more and more corn can only do one of two things; either crowd out other crops or create a need to establish more farmland. Proponents of ethanol, in the face of the corn crop issues, will argue that ethanol can be produced from sources other than corn. Thus not affecting the food markets. One such alternative is what is known as cellulosic ethanol that can be produced from grasses, waste from the wood and paper industry, or almost any plant source. In “the Ethanol Scam” Goodell quotes an oil industry engineer named Robert Rapier who is also an expert in cellulosic ethanol. Goodell states, “According to Rapier, replacing fifty percent of our current gasoline consumption with cellulosic ethanol would consume thirteen percent of the land in the United States – about seven times the land currently utilized for corn production.” In “The Ethanol Scam” Jeff Goodell gets right to it by saying “Our current ethanol production represents only 3.5 percent of our gasoline consumption – yet it consumes twenty percent of the entire U.S. corn crop, causing the price of corn to double… and raising the threat of hunger in the Third World.” While this certainly points out the potential social and economic impact of corn on U.S. crops overall and on global food prices the global agricultural impact may be even worse. As corn prices rise and more cropland is dedicated to corn production other crops suffer and their prices rise as

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