The Ethanol Papers - Paperturn manuscript - Flipbook - Page 70
• Ethanol critics deride ethanol production if fossil fuels are used anywhere in the process of growing, harvesting, distilling, and shipping alcohol. These charges are presented as if oil and gasoline weren’t guilty of
the same criticisms. In the worst-case situation, at least it could be said
that the final ethanol product vs. gasoline is far more environmentally
friendly. Gasoline has no advantages whatsoever. In truth, however, fossil fuels do not have to be used to produce ethanol. In some instances,
natural, on-site nutrients can be used as fertilizer, ethanol or other biofuels can be used to operate harvesting equipment, and non-fossil fuel energy sources can be used to power the distillation process.
• Critics make it sound as though subsidies are exclusively given for ethanol production. However, the oil industry has received more government
subsidies, allocations, inducements, and tax breaks than any other energy technology, energy source, or fuel. Every subsidy ever granted to
oil/gasoline in the last hundred years is still in effect. What’s more, untold
billions of dollars and tens of thousands of American lives have been
spent on wars related to protecting foreign oil. No amount of subsidies to
produce domestic ethanol will ever be too expensive compared to our
• Using arcane and irrelevant methods of measuring how much energy is
expended to produce ethanol (such as the energy required to build brand
new tractors), critics like David Pimentel don’t take into account comparable measurements in evaluating EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) for gasoline.
But what they forget - or didn’t understand in the first place - is the “ethanol
The Obama Administration, or any federal administration, pumps in billions and
trillions of dollars to stimulate the economy. If those stimulus dollars are not
surplus, the government has to print more dollars, thereby devaluing all dollars.
It’s said that one billion dollars leave America every day to pay for foreign oil.
These dollars may never make their way back to America. If we can avoid sending the $1 billion a day ($360 billion per year) out of the country, and instead
use those dollars here to pay salaries and buy domestically produced goods,
those dollars become a stimulus for the economy without having to print additional dollars and devalue those already in circulation. Then, if those dollars are
spent on American workers and American products, we wind up recycling the
dollars and multiplying its stimulus effect several-fold. It could be possible to