The Ethanol Papers - Paperturn manuscript - Flipbook - Page 214
July 19, 2015
Posted by CHARLES W:
If ethanol in gasoline is a benefit, then why mandates and subsidies? How can
it make sense to turn good food into poor fuel and consume non-renewable
resources to do it?
Reply from MARC:
Hi Charlie - Most corn grown for ethanol in the U.S. is not intended for human
consumption; it's grown specifically to be used for ethanol and/or animal consumption. Therefore, it's not a case of turning good food into bad food. You
could ask, "Wouldn't it be better to grow it so that it is suitable for human consumption?" To which I would reply, "Why, have you had any trouble finding corn
in your local grocery stores?"
The mandates have to do with the environment. Would you prefer to go back to
leaded gasoline or gasoline with MTBE? If you don't use lead, MTBE or ethanol
as anti-knock additives what would you use? Ethanol-free gasoline (which contains other ingredients to mitigate knock) often costs twice as much as E10. Is
that your idea of a good solution?
Regarding subsidies: no energy sector is more subsidized than the oil industry.
If you hate subsidies, then you should hate oil subsidies. In any event, one of
the largest subsidies available to the ethanol industry was eliminated more than
two years ago. E85 is still usually cheaper than E10, and in most instances far
less expensive than ethanol-free gasoline.
I hope the foregoing helps you to understand the issues.
Posted by SCOTT R:
The real problem is that ethanol is not the answer to the problem. It reduces
mileage by 20% (but based on ethanol percentage ~ 2% overall). It has driven
the price of meat in the US almost to unobtainable levels because of the loss of
corn for feed. Its use is a "feel good" patch so that congress who would have a
problem spelling ethanol, can feel like they have done something for the