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Pacific Ethanol, Inc. Message Board

  • gdbfuia gdbfuia Dec 5, 2007 9:54 PM Flag

    Why Corn Based Ethanol is a Very Bad Idea

    If not for the subsidies paid to the farmers for the corn (29 cents per gallon) AND subsidies to the ethanol producers/blnders (51 cents per gallon), there would be no US industry for the stuff. Guess who picks up the tab for these subsidies--you guessed it, we the tax payers. Corn based ethanol has taken off in the US for a number of reason, none of which have anything to do with logic or economics or achieving energy independence. It's about big Ag companies such as ADM with their high paid lobbyists influencing (through cash contributions and misinformation) our corrupt an ignorant elected officials who then go on to tell the ignorant electorate that ethanol is the holy grail to energy independence. Corn based ethanol will not reduce our dependence on foreign oil by one drop. Ethanol is a tonic for the masses- it allows the politicians and consumers believe we can go on burning huge quantities of fuel in fuel inefficient vehicles because we now have ethanol to replace gasoline. Just as starters, do the math, there are about 85,000 BTU/gal in ethanol, gasoline has about 125,000. This works out to about a 30 % reduction in the number of miles per gallon. When you fill up at the E 85 pump, unless the E 85 is priced at about 30 % less than the price for regular unleaded, it will cost you more on a per mile basis (and don't forget the subsidy you already pain for). The net energy, after factoring all the energy going into making the fertilizer from fossil fuels, the fossil fuels to plant/harvest/process and transport the corn based ethanol is probably about break even on average with respect to the energy balance depending on crop yield, and the aforementioned factors, its a negative energy balance in many cases. Ethanol is also considered a VOC which means that it contributes to photochemical smog when it evaporates into the atmosphere, say when you are filling up your tank in hot weather. The production of ethanol from corn also depletes our soil resources and contributes to chemical run off from herbicides and fertilizers into our rivers and lakes. The production of ethanol is also leading to the inflation of food prices as the price of corn has increased due to increased production of ethanol. US proponents of ethanol like to point out that Brazil has achieve energy independence through the use of ethanol and that the US can do the same. This would not work out in the US and it is also leading to environmental problems in Brazil such as the destruction of the rain forest to make room for sugar cane. Brazil consumes a lot less energy than the US so they have been able to achieve some level of energy independence. The US could convert all its cropland to ethanol production and would still have to import oil. The smartest thing the US can do right now is begin serious energy conservation, which so far, have not been wiling to do. Americans would rather believe in the fairy tale called ethanol.

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    • Well, if you do not fuel your car with it, can we drink it?

    • You Are Full of S@#T!the main reason for inflated food prices is the cost of enegy which most of it comes from Crude oil, price up %100 in a few years . I will give you some credit about your thoughts about conservation . We waste too much energy every where .
      The biggest government subsidies are for The big oil companies and the nuclear energy crew . They made alternative energy subsidies look like pennies .
      As far as comparing BTU to gas mileage you are all wet there . New studies indicate with different mass flow sensors and better computer tuning the MPG is only %5 less . The higher octane makeup most of the difference . When the same engines start using 12:1 compression ratios the MPG is even better than Gas . When you use 12:1 ratios you have to use e85 only which can be a problem in many ares of the country. The modification I mentioned can be done in your back yard and on a commercial basis add $200 to the existing price of a new car .
      The biggest draw back is these motors will be real speedsters and trying to go 55 MPH will be a real problem due to lower temps and RPM's you will be tempted to go faster than you think

    • May be a very bad idea but it's good in practice.

    • Just another dufus bashing ethanol and putting out a strong buy on PEIX... go figure.

      There are some truths in what you say, there are problems and issues, but these can be, and are being addressed. However most of us here believe in Ethanol as it is the right thing to do for America. It keeps more $$$ in the US per BTU than imported Oil. That ain't bad. Just look around at the wholesale selling of american companies and assets to Dubai. Can you dispute that?

      The food argument is bogus. Corn is generally a bad food source for humans. Very high in Carbs and sugars. It is contributing to the obesity crisis in America and the Type II Diabetes epidemic, which again, is costing Americans in the form of higher health insurance premiums. HFCS is in everything these days. If corn is too expensive, why do food procesors like Kelloggs continue to dump tons of this stuff into everything we eat??? Get real.

    • It's a bad idea because the free market didn't choose it. Forcing by do-good government nanny-state always results in bad unintended consequences.

    • Why write a whole book on the subject. I got bored reading the first sentence of your argument. Your one of those terrorist sympathizers from Iran that hates ethanol. Aren't You?? Right!!

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