Minnesota Farmer


Why Ethanol?
April 7, 2011, 11:49 am
Filed under: Biofuels, cars, Corn, ethanol, Farm, Politicians, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I am constantly amazed at the number of negative comments I see about using ethanol as a fuel source.  After all it is not only better for your lungs, it helps keep American Dollars here in America.  Today I came across some information that answers the question of where those negative comments come from.

The dollar means everything in America, and no one seems to have more dollars to spend than our government.  To help our politicians decide how to spend those dollars groups send lobbyists to Washington D.C.  Of the 187 lobbying groups that comment on ethanol legislation, only 16 were pro ethanol.  The largest lobbying group commenting on ethanol legislation is the oil companies who spent 170 million dollars to influence legislation last year.  Only 4 million dollars were spent by pro ethanol groups.

Big oil was not the only one who was bashing ethanol in the last years.  Grocery stores and food processors were also trying to cover their increasing costs by blaming ethanol.  They also spent a healthy sum in D.C.

Now the NASCAR racing group has decided to weigh in on the side of ethanol.  This year all cars at NASCAR will sport a green ring around their fuel port promoting ethanol and the 15% ethanol blend that is being used in all cars.  These are some of the best engines and best drivers in the world, and having them on your side will help ethanol’s image a lot.  Every time they wave the green flag you will see a pro ethanol message.  They are starting with E15, but expect to increase that blend level, after all, ethanol was the fuel that started many of those good old boys driving fast cars in the prohibition era.

So why ethanol?

  • Ethanol blended gasoline is better for your lungs.  Most major cities would be under smog alerts for much of the year without the help of ethanol.
  • Ethanol produces jobs here in the U.S.  There have been no new oil refineries built in the U.S. for many years, but ethanol is now being produced from our fields to replace 12% of our gasoline.  The refineries to produce it are in the middle of the country, far away from hurricanes and tsunamis.
  • Ethanol reduces the price of fueling your car.  Just compare the cost of diesel fuel with gas.  They used to track within a few cents of each other.  Now a price advantage of 30 to 50 cents in not uncommon.
  • No military are needed to protect our ethanol shipments from other countries.  The military spends billions every year in some of the most troubled areas of the world to protect our oil interests.
  • Ethanol spills will never foul our beaches.  In fact ethanol readily breaks down if spilled, and it doesn’t have to go near the beach.
  • Ethanol production has raised the price of corn on the farm.  This means that fewer dollars are needed to support crop production when price levels are below cost of production.

To me it’s obvious, Ethanol is the better fuel choice.  Now it’s up to you to decide, who are you going to believe, big oil, or your farmer neighbor.

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