Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I know that everyone is hot for ethanol these days. The search for non-oil based fuels seems to make sense to me. However, I think I am remembering this correctly that currently it takes more energy to produce the corn that is used to make ethanol than the energy you get from ethanol. I'm also sure that there are additional sources of renewables out there that can be produced more efficiently than ethanol. Wind, solar, and geothermal have been around for awhile and should continue to grow. But I cannot imagine a short term solution to reducing our oil consumption that does not involve a hefty tax increase on the price of oil/gasoline. There is ample evidence that when the price of gasoline reaches the $3/gal mark and above people reduce the amount they drive or seek out alternatives. Add a $1 or $2 to the current price and just imagine how people will change their behavior. I know that the recent price spikes and my short commute have allowed me to ride my bike to work twice a week. That won't work for everyone and I know some will argue that low-income people will be hurt the most by this idea and I agree. However, we should not ignore a good and effective idea just because it may cause some people pain.

2 comments:

tom said...

I think the efforts at ethanol and other alternatives are useful as long as (1) they are environmentally friendly and (2) are economically sound.

But, corn ethanol may have huge dislocations in agri-business and costs to consumers in a variety of foods from cereal to hamburgers. I've read sugar cane is more efficient at producing ethanol, but of course the powerful interest groups (and perhaps growing conditions) are not so friendly to that source of ethanol.

Just adding some grist to distill.

Anonymous said...

Why is Congress so bent on corn bio fuel? Ye gads can't they study and understand anything without jumping on the politically advantageous bandwagon?