19 July 2007

Report Pooh-Poohs Corn Biofuels

by Kate Melville

Corn is not a viable biofuel source, says a new report released today by Food & Water Watch, the Network for New Energy Choices, and the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment. The report claims that the corn ethanol refinery industry will not significantly offset U.S. fossil fuel consumption without unacceptable environmental and economic consequences.

"Rural communities won't benefit from the Farm Bill becoming a fuel bill. In the long run, family farmers and the environment will be losers, while agribusiness, whose political contributions are fueling the ethanol frenzy, will become the winners," said Food & Water Watch's Wenonah Hauter.

The authors contend that rising oil prices, energy security, and global warming concerns have led to today's "go yellow" hype over corn ethanol. They point out that the expansion of the corn ethanol industry will lead to more water and air pollution and soil erosion of America's farm belt, while failing to significantly offset fossil fuel use or combat global warming. Other key points include:

"As long as we spend more on subsidizing energy suppliers than we do on investments in energy efficiency, we are on a path to pain. We are already subsidizing corn-ethanol with more money than we spend on high-mileage cars or on quality mass-transit," said Michael Dworkin, of the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment.

The group makes a number of policy recommendations relating to biofuels, including:

Related articles:
Glucose Converted Directly To Faux Fossil Fuel
Ethanol Vehicles A Health Hazard
Study Slams Economics Of Ethanol And Biodiesel

Source: Network for New Energy Choices