“First, they’re subsidizing domestic ethanol, and second, they’re being denied cheaper ethanol from abroad.” On the strength of tax incentives and subsidies, ethanol production quadrupled between 20.
In 2007, the United States pumped almost 7 billion gallons of ethanol, and that number is certain to grow.
It’s difficult to fault the motives of those on either side of the ethanol divide.
Critics are genuinely concerned about diverting croplands from food to fuel and the effect such a shift has on the economy and environment.
Also, more water is required to produce ethanol than gasoline.
Not only is corn a water-intensive crop, but ethanol-production facilities need huge amounts of water to pump out ethanol, something the city of Tampa, Fla., learned when U. Enviro Fuels announced plans to build a plant at the port there.
Many worry about subsidies that are fueling the ethanol boom.
In the understated words of the CRS report, a duty of 54 cents per gallon “has been a significant barrier to ethanol imports.” “This means consumers are paying twice,” says Diane Katz, director of risk, environment and energy policy at the Fraser Institute.According to , “This year, America’s maize harvest will be a jaw-dropping 335 million (metric tons), beating last year’s by more than a quarter.The increase has been achieved partly at the expense of other food crops.” It is worth noting that, in 1981, U. farmers planted 88 million acres of wheat; this year they will plant just 64 million acres.The “New Gasoline.” In the United States, 95 percent of ethanol is derived from corn. The Clean Fuels Development Coalition (CFDC) claims that for every barrel of ethanol produced, “1.2 barrels of petroleum is displaced at the refinery.” A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report explains that when blended with gasoline, ethanol can, under the right conditions, reduce emissions and extend gasoline supplies.Ethanol can even be used “as an alternative to gasoline in automobiles specially designed for its use,” CRS adds.