by Marion Nestle
Nov 30 2007

Ethanol fuel in trouble?

The Wall Street Journal says the ethanol industry is in trouble since everyone has caught on to what it does to food prices, water resources, and energy balance. The ethanol industry lobbyists are on the move!

  • It’s about time.

  • greg

    i say go ahead and use our ridiculous surplus of subsidized cheap corn to make ethanol.

    get it out of our food system and animals! get it into our cars for now…

    but it does seem silly to turn oil into corn and then into ethanol. corn production is still linked to fossil fuels so ethanol doesnt seem like a sustainable alternative fuel to me.

    we need more sun & wind farmers in this world!

  • If people have to pay more for the other stuff, perhaps the price of fruits and vegetables will seem more affordable!

    At this point ethanol from corn uses so much fossil fuel (also pesticides) farming the corn hauling the corn to the ethanol plant, the actual process of converting the corn to ethanol, then driving big diesel trucks around the country to distribute this (no pipeline) is such a huge waste of energy that there is a near zero sum gain!
    To get corn out of the food supply as corn syrup, feed corn, corn starch, etc, Congress needs to stop paying farmers to grow it.

  • Not to mention the increased incentive to put yet *more* acreage into corn production. We don’t need that in the US and we don’t need that in developing countries. Corn derived ethanol is a short term, short-sighted fix to our oil addiction.

    End the subsidies for corn. Get back to growing food locally to feed local communities with food that doesn’t need massive amounts of processing. It will be a big adjustment for everyone, but in the end, it will be a huge benefit. Better food, better health, better environment. The economy might not grow so fast, but I think in the long run, the adjustment to an economy without corn, soy, and wheat subsidies will be a better economy.

  • Lien

    I don’t think ethanol is a good solution at all because of the huge amount of chemical fertilizers, pesticides used to grow the corn. The environment with suffer in another way. I agree with Anna that this will benefit the big farmers/corporation who already get hefty subsidies from the government. In addition, the corn is GMO which will benefit companies like Monsanto.