A long-delayed report from the Environmental Protection Agency finds that requiring ethanol made from corn and soybeans to be part of the nation’s gas supply is causing serious environmental harm.
Federal law requires the EPA to assess the environmental impact of the fuel standard every three years, but the new report, issued in July, was four years overdue. According to David DeGennaro with the National Wildlife Federation, the report documents millions of acres of wildlife habitat lost to ethanol crop production, increased nutrient pollution in waterways and air emissions and side effects worse than the gasoline the ethanol is replacing.
“In finding that the Renewable Fuel Standard is having negative consequences to a whole suite of environmental indicators,” DeGennaro said, “the report is a red flag warning us that we need to reconsider the mandate’s scope and its focus on first-generation fuels made from food crops.”
President Donald Trump and senators from agricultural states are urging the EPA to allow an increase in the mandated ethanol content of gasoline.
Some of the negative effects aren’t specific to ethanol, such as the loss of wildlife habitat from expanded corn production. That would happen no matter what you were growing or building in formerly forested areas. But the increased runoff of nutrients and chemicals used in this type of farming are impacting water supplies far beyond anything caused by the occasional oil spill from a tanker car or pipeline….
On my TV show this week, statistician Bjorn Lomborg points out that “air pollution kills 4.3 million people each year … We need to get a sense of priority.” That deadly air pollution happens because, to keep warm, poor people burn dung in their huts.
Yet, time and again, environmentalists oppose the energy production most likely to make the world cleaner and safer. Instead, they persuade politicians to spend billions of your dollars on symbolism like “renewable” energy.
“The amazing number that most people haven’t heard is, if you take all the solar panels and all the wind turbines in the world,” says Lomborg, “they have (eliminated) less CO2 than what U.S. fracking (cracking rocks below ground to extract oil and natural gas) managed to do.”
That progress occurred despite opposition from environmentalists — and even bans in places like my stupid state, New York, where activists worry fracking will cause earthquakes or poison the water….
Liberalism = Death
Ethanol is killing children around the world… Democrats! It takes 450lbs of Corn to fill one SUV tank… that is a years worth of food for multiple children, not to mention the rise of corn-based food for the poor worldwide.
And while Gateway mentions is, this is actually old news. For instance, I quoted economist Walter Williams back in March of 2008 saying,
…Ethanol is 20 to 30 percent less efficient than gasoline, making it more expensive per highway mile. It takes 450 pounds of corn to produce the ethanol to fill one SUV tank. That’s enough corn to feed one person for a year. Plus, it takes more than one gallon of fossil fuel — oil and natural gas — to produce one gallon of ethanol. After all, corn must be grown, fertilized, harvested and trucked to ethanol producers — all of which are fuel-using activities. And, it takes 1,700 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol. On top of all this, if our total annual corn output were put to ethanol production, it would reduce gasoline consumption by 10 or 12 percent.
Ethanol is so costly that it wouldn’t make it in a free market. That’s why Congress has enacted major ethanol subsidies, about $1.05 to $1.38 a gallon, which is no less than a tax on consumers. In fact, there’s a double tax — one in the form of ethanol subsidies and another in the form of handouts to corn farmers to the tune of $9.5 billion in 2005 alone.
There’s something else wrong with this picture. If Congress and President Bush say we need less reliance on oil and greater use of renewable fuels, then why would Congress impose a stiff tariff, 54 cents a gallon, on ethanol from Brazil? Brazilian ethanol, by the way, is produced from sugar cane and is far more energy efficient, cleaner and cheaper to produce.
Ethanol production has driven up the prices of corn-fed livestock, such as beef, chicken and dairy products, and products made from corn, such as cereals. As a result of higher demand for corn, other grain prices, such as soybean and wheat, have risen dramatically. The fact that the U.S. is the world’s largest grain producer and exporter means that the ethanol-induced higher grain prices will have a worldwide impact on food prices….
The researchers, led by assistant professor Adam Liska, used a supercomputer model at UNL’s Holland Computing Center to estimate the effect of residue removal on 128 million acres across 12 Corn Belt states. The team found that removing crop residue from cornfields generates an additional 50 to 70 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule of biofuel energy produced (a joule is a measure of energy and is roughly equivalent to 1 BTU). Total annual production emissions, averaged over five years, would equal about 100 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule — which is 7 percent greater than gasoline emissions and 62 grams above the 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as required by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.
Wasted tax money trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Likewise, in July of 2011, I noted the following:
RUSH LIMBAUGH: They’re playing games with us on this heat wave again. Even Drudge is getting sucked in here, gonna be 116 in Washington. No, it’s not. It’s gonna be like a hundred. Maybe 99. The heat index, manufactured by the government, to tell you what it feels like when you add the humidity in there, 116. When’s the last time the heat index was reported as an actual temperature? It hasn’t been, but it looks like they’re trying to get away with doing that now. Drudge is just linking to other people reporting it, he’s not saying it, I don’t want you to misunderstand, but he’s linking to stories which say 116 degrees in Washington. No. It’s what, a hundred, 97, 99. It’s gonna top out at 102, 103. It does this every year. There’s a heat dome over half the country, the Midwest, it’s moving east. And it happens every summer.
Indeed. Maher likely got this 123 figure from a CNN.com piece reporting such a heat index in Hutchinson, Minnesota, Tuesday.
If folks like him were honest, they would first make clear that heat index is not temperature. It’s temperature including the impact humidity has on it.
And that’s the real news this week that global warming obsessed media members have downplayed – record humidity.
As Conservation Minnesota reported Wednesday:
Tuesday evening, around the dinner hour, the dew point at Moorhead reached 87.8 F, making this the most humid reporting station on the planet. The heat index peaked at an almost incomprehensible 134 F. at Moorhead.
Yet, as Minnesota Public Radio reported Wednesday, it was only 93 F when that record-breaking heat index was recorded in Moorhead.
What was responsible then? As the Bemidji Pioneer reported Saturday, it was the unprecedented humidity:
Meteorologists have determined that large fields of corn raise the dew points in surrounding areas because corn “sweats” on hot days. When the humid air mass that originated over the Gulf of Mexico passed over the sea of green that is Iowa, sweating corn likely added to the humidity levels.
“Farmers are replacing wheat fields with corn to meet the demand for alternative fuel, but that means higher flour prices – and in one Pennsylvania pizza shop, more expensive pies,” NBC News correspondent Chris Jansing said on the February 27 “NBC Nightly News.”
Perhaps no one drew a stronger correlation between the politics of alternative energy and the rise in inflation than Jim Cramer in a February 27 interview with Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) on his CNBC show “Mad Money.”
You see, the POOR suffer the most from elites who glom onto pet theories based in bad sciuence. Riots and death and malnutricion soon follow large-statist policies.