Citizens for a Quality Environment
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Citizens for a Quality Environment is an organization consisting of individuals working together toward preserving, reclaiming, and protecting a quality environment in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency's Mission "to protect human health and the environment."

Citizens for a Quality Environment come together to share concerns, target issues important to our group and our communities, gather information, and work toward issue resolutions."


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Video of Adkins Energy in Lena and Badger State in Monroe, WI taken by Hugh and Barb Baker! 

Green Plants, Fossil Fuels, and Now Biofuels

Pimentel & Patzek
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Nov. 2006
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Asphalt fumes possibly linked to increased rates of depression
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 "Ethanol, a costly snake oil & danger to America..."
 Ray Wallace
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The debate over the use of corn-based ethanol still makes news!!
from: Ethanol gets skewered by recent CBO assessment by Tom Philpott, July 16, 2010

"...The CBO had been charged by Congress to calculate just what the public is getting for its investment in ethanol production: specifically, the $0.45/gallon tax credit that gasoline blenders get for mixing ethanol into the fuel supply. In 2009, 10.8 billion gallons of corn ethanol got used in such a manner, costing the federal Treasury $5.16 billion in reduced tax revenue....
...The CBO report states the case bluntly: "Because the production of ethanol draws so much energy from coal and natural gas, it can be thought of as a method for converting natural gas or coal to a liquid fuel that can be used for transportation."

The CBO is referring to the fact that it requires lots of energy to convert a bushel of corn into engine fuel, and most ethanol plants are powered by natural gas; the rest by coal. And that doesn't account for the vast amount of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer needed to grow the corn in the first place. Synthesizing nitrogen, too, requires huge amounts of natural gas....

Click here to read entire article
Click here to go the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) report: Using Biofuel Tax Credits to Achieve Energy and Environmental Policy Goals   
Another CBO Report: Impact of Ethanol Use on Food Prices and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions

The information on the following portion of the C4aQE website is an archive and not the most current information on ethanol production issues in the U.S.  Last updated December 2008. 

"VeraSun Energy Corporation (NYSE: VSE), one of the nation’s largest ethanol producers announced today the Company and 24 of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for relief under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to enhance liquidity while they reorganize.

The filing was precipitated by a series of events that led to a contraction in VeraSun’s liquidity, impairing its ability to operate its business and invest in production facilities. The Company suffered significant losses in the third quarter of 2008 from a dramatic spike in its corn costs, reflecting in part costs attributable to its corn procurement and hedging arrangements, and historically unfavorable margins. Beginning in the third quarter, worsening capital market conditions and a tightening of trade credit resulted in severe constraints on the Company’s liquidity position. Faced with these constraints, VeraSun and 24 of its subsidiaries filed their chapter 11 petitions to facilitate access to additional liquidity while they reorganize to take better advantage of VeraSun’s position as one of the nation's largest producers of ethanol. Ethanol Producer Files Chapter 11, from: Inside Indiana with Gerry Dick, November 2, 2008 (Click to read entire article)

 "...Gallon for gallon, pure ethanol contains one-third less energy than gasoline, and the ethanol industry acknowledges that E10 reduces mileage by about 2 percent.
Some drivers think the change is notably greater. Chuck Mai, a vice president of AAA Oklahoma, reported that his organization has been getting calls from members blaming E10 for mileage drops of 8 to 20 percent.
Drivers in Tulsa, he said, are complaining to their local service stations , saying, “ ‘I used to get 28 mpg; last time around, I’m getting 25. What’s going on?’ ”
In chat rooms at Edmunds.com and elsewhere, plenty of people are blaming ethanol for substantial mileage drops.
Auto drivers are not the only ones complaining.
Ashley Massey, a spokeswoman for the State Marine Board in Oregon, where an E10 mandate is being enforced this year, said that when E10 first arrived, her agency was flooded by calls.
“What we’re hearing is that the boats are starting, but then they start to sputter” and quit, she said. They are also hard to restart, Ms. Massey said, adding that her own weed trimmer sputtered and died with E10, but revived with conventional gas.
Her agency has posted a list of gas stations that still sell unblended fuel, as permitted by exemptions to Oregon’s mandate, on its Web site. Warnings and tips about using E10 are included as well.
Shaun O’Connor, who sells lawn mowers in Oklahoma City, says fuel-related problems surfaced in engines at the same time that ethanol appeared.
A gas station in Edmond, Okla., emphasizes that its gasoline is free of ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. Mechanics for a range of equipment and small vehicles, from boats and motorcycles to lawnmowers, have blamed E10 for engine sputters and shutdowns...."
  In Gas-Powered World, Ethanol Stirs Complaints by Kate Galbraith, The New York Times, July 26, 2008 (Click to read entire article) 
For our Friends in Oregon: E-10 (Ethanol) in Gasoline and Where to Find Non-Blended Gas (Click to this article and the Oregon State Marine Board website on Oregon.gov)

"...We still believe the solution to the unintended consequence of this federal RFS mandate is simple: a one-year, 50 percent waiver," Perry's statement said. "The RFS waiver is an essential step toward decreasing the devastating statewide, national and international impact of skyrocketing feed and food costs."
More than four dozen House Republicans and two dozen GOP senators, including presidential candidate John McCain, have written to EPA in support of the waiver. The state of Connecticut also supported Texas' request.
Corn prices have risen markedly over the last year with the increased demand for ethanol, and prices of foods containing or dependent on corn have risen along with them. In some poor countries, climbing commodity prices have touched off food riots.... 

...Cattle are still going to feedlots but are staying out on pasture longer, Wilson said. If the ethanol mandate remains, livestock supplies will shrink as more corn is diverted for biofuel, he said.
"And that's going to eventually translate to the meat case," Wilson said, alluding to higher prices for beef...."
  excerpt from EPA postpones decision on ethanol requirements by Betsy Blaney, AP Writer, Kansas City Star, July 22, 2008 (Click to read)

"Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% - far more than previously estimated...

..."Without the increase in biofuels, global wheat and maize stocks would not have declined appreciably and price increases due to other factors would have been moderate," says the report. The basket of food prices examined in the study rose by 140% between 2002 and this February. The report estimates that higher energy and fertiliser prices accounted for an increase of only 15%, while biofuels have been responsible for a 75% jump over that period. 
It argues that production of biofuels has distorted food markets in three main ways. First, it has diverted grain away from food for fuel, with over a third of US corn now used to produce ethanol and about half of vegetable oils in the EU going towards the production of biodiesel. Second, farmers have been encouraged to set land aside for biofuel production. Third, it has sparked financial speculation in grains, driving prices up higher....
  excerpts from:
Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis Internal World Bank study delivers blow to plant energy drive by Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian, Friday July 4, 2008 (Click to read)

The Man Who Dared to Question Ethanol by Andrew Martin, The New York Times, July 13, 2008  (Click to read)

"It's hard to miss: Americans are paying more at the supermarket checkout these days.
Prices have increased 5% since last year, and it could get worse. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that food prices will bump up another 5.5% in 2008.
One of the reasons is that the price of corn - a staple ingredient in a variety of foods from cereals to cola and the main ingredient in animal feed - is selling above $7.50 a bushel, about 119% above the price from a year ago....

he rising price of corn is fueling a movement to reduce the amount of corn ethanol that is added to American gasoline....
...About 5% of the world's corn supply goes to producing bio fuels - representing a whopping three years of growth in typical crop production, according to Elam.
"Corn will have to go to at least $8 a bushel to squeeze out enough food use to keep up with corn for ethanol," he said. "Food prices will be significantly impacted by corn if RFS goes to 10.5 billion gallons for 2009."  

How significantly? Collins said food costs could rise 23% to 35% above the normal annual inflation rate of 2.5% over the next two to three years if the RFS mandates are not reduced. Elam said food price inflation rate could go as high as 7% without a mandate reduction.
The USDA also maintains ethanol has an impact on food prices, even if it is an indirect link.

"Higher ethanol production definitely and directly raises the price of corn," said USDA economist Ephraim Leibtag. "Higher corn prices have an impact on food prices on the retail level."

By contrast, if the government were to reduce the RFS by just half, both Elam and Collins agree that corn prices would fall $2 a bushel, which could save more than $9 billion in feed and food costs...."

Food price spike: Is ethanol to blame? A devastated corn crop is likely to exacerbate costs at the grocer. Some people are pointing a finger at the ethanol production laws. by David Goldman, CNNMoney.com, June 27, 2008, (Click here to read)

  "Americans waste more than 40 percent of the food we produce for consumption. That comes at an annual cost of more than $100 billion. At the same time, food prices and the number of Americans without enough to eat continues to rise...." from WastedFood.com, Jonathan Bloom's website/Blogsite.
"...When you’re looking for it, you see food waste everywhere–at restaurants, in large portions and even in your own refrigerator. If more and more people recognize their own food waste, we can take a bite out of this problem...."
  (Click to wastedfood.com)

A must read: The Clean Energy Scam by Michael Grunwald, Time Magazine, March 27, 2008  "...several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it's dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it. Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, which has been promoted by eco-activists and eco-investors as well as by President Bush as the fuel of the future, looks less green than oil-derived gasoline....
...the basic problem with most biofuels is amazingly simple, given that researchers have ignored it until now: using land to grow fuel leads to the destruction of forests, wetlands and grasslands that store enormous amounts of carbon....
...by diverting grain and oilseed crops from dinner plates to fuel tanks, biofuels are jacking up world food prices and endangering the hungry. The grain it takes to fill an SUV tank with ethanol could feed a person for a year. Harvests are being plucked to fuel our cars instead of ourselves. The U.N.'s World Food Program says it needs $500 million in additional funding and supplies, calling the rising costs for food nothing less than a global emergency. Soaring corn prices have sparked tortilla riots in Mexico City, and skyrocketing flour prices have destabilized Pakistan, which wasn't exactly tranquil when flour was affordable...."
  (Click to read entire article)

NEW  Cellulosic ethanol─"a required breakthrough in technology for converting cellulosic sources into ethanol is more than five years away from commercial viability...."
"...The Iowa State University study predicts that the mandate will enable farmers and investors to produce at the most 4.5 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol by 2022 -- but only if the government further subsidizes production by raising the ethanol tax credit from a current 51 cents a gallon to $1.55....
...the environmental impacts of ethanol production are serious and diverse. Severe erosion is occurring on valuable food cropland. Heavy use of nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides in corn production causes chemical runoff that pollutes rivers and has led to a large dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where no marine life exists. Because of the large amounts of water needed to produce ethanol -- four gallons of water for each gallon of ethanol -- water tables in some parts of the Midwest and Great Plains have dropped during the last decade. Some farm communities now have to import potable water...."  from: Ethanol hopes run on fumes by Manfred Kroger, Ph.D., is professor of food science emeritus at Penn State University. The Patriot-News, March 30, 2008 (Click to read)

ALSO: "As spring planting nears, farmers are making a choice that could affect what Americans pay for everything from car fuel to chicken wings. If they choose to plant as much corn as possible, prices that have soared to record highs above $5 a bushel could stabilize. But if many farmers rotate their plantings to other crops such as soybeans, or the season is disrupted by bad weather or drought, the price of this key ingredient could soar even further....
...Last month Pilgrim's Pride, America's largest poultry firm, closed a North Carolina processing plant and distribution centers in five other states, putting 1,100 people out of work. It blamed high corn prices caused by the heavily subsidized ethanol industry...."  from: Farmers' crop choices may affect consumers If they do not plant as much corn as possible, the prices on many items could soar, experts say. by Henry C. Jackson, Associated Press, Detroit News, March 31, 2008 (Click to read)
AND:  "...Corn acres will fall more than expected, to 86.014 million, as growers make room for soybeans, the USDA said....
...The acreage shift into soybeans and away from corn was larger than people expected,'' said Greg Grow, director of agribusiness for Archer Financial Services....
...Grow at Archer Financial said corn may rise 20 cents to 30 cents while soybeans may fall 40 cents to 50 cents....
...Corn is a crop that has much higher input costs, especially with regard to nitrogen that is now over $900 per ton,'' said Joel Karlin, a product manager at Western Milling in Goshen, California. ``Soybeans are a good option for those that want to replenish the nitrogen in their soil.''
Farmers who planted corn in the past two years also may rotate crops to soybeans to prevent diseases and pest infestation...."
from: Soybean Acres to Rise After Year of Soaring Prices, USDA Says by Tony C. Dreibus and Jeff Wilson, (Update2), from Bloomberg.com,  March 31, 2008 (Click to read)

"...Cellulosic ethanol also is touted loudly as a replacement for corn ethanol. Unfortunately, cellulose biomass production requires major energy inputs to release minimal amounts of tightly bound starches and sugars needed to make fuel. About 70 percent more energy -- coming, again, from precious oil and gas -- is required to produce ethanol from cellulosic biomass than the energy contained in the ethanol produced. That makes cellulosic ethanol an even poorer performer than corn ethanol....
...the production of corn ethanol is highly subsidized: State and federal governments pay out more than $6 billion per year in subsidies, according to a 2006 report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Geneva, Switzerland. Calculated on a per-gallon basis, these subsidies are more than 60 times those for gasoline...." 
Corn Can't Save Us: Debunking the Biofuel Myth by David Pimentel, Blue Ridge Press, February 19, 2008 (Click to read)

Conoy Township, Lancaster County, PA residents continues to oppose Lancaster Biofuel's plan to build a corn ethanol distillery/refinery on 65-acres between the Susquehanna River and Route 441.  Read about their efforts on their website:   FightEthanol.com + C-Power.Org by C-Power: Citizens Protecting Our Water/Air from an Ethanol Refinery

"Dwindling foreign oil, rising prices at the gas pump, and hype from politically well-connected U.S. agribusiness have combined to create a frenzied rush to convert food grains into ethanol fuel. The move is badly conceived and ill advised....
...consider that 20 percent of the U.S. corn crop was converted into 5 billion gallons of ethanol in 2006, but that amount replaced only 1 percent of U.S. oil consumption. If the entire national corn crop were used to make ethanol, it would replace a mere 7% of U.S. oil consumption -- far from making the U.S. independent of foreign oil....
...Cellulosic ethanol is also touted loudly as a replacement for corn ethanol. Unfortunately, cellulose biomass production requires major energy inputs to release minimal amounts of tightly bound starches and sugars needed to make fuel. About 70 percent more energy (coming again from precious oil and gas) is required to produce ethanol from cellulosic biomass than the ethanol produced. That makes cellulosic ethanol an even poorer performer than corn ethanol....
...The science is clear: The use of corn and other biofuels to solve our energy problem is an ethically, economically, and environmentally unworkable sham."

Corn Can't Save us: Debunking the Biofuel Myth by David Pimentel, Kennebec Journal, Portland, Maine, Monday, February 25, 2008 (Click to read)

"Two companies yesterday proposed building a 1,700-mile pipeline to carry ethanol from the Midwest through Central Pennsylvania to New York. The project would cost more than $3 billion..."
...The proposed pipeline would be the first to funnel ethanol to the East Coast, which now gets the fuel primarily by rail, Milbourne said. The structure could carry up to 10 million gallons of ethanol daily from Midwest production facilities to distribution points in Pittsburgh, Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and New York...."
New $3B ethanol pipeline could run through midstate by David Dagan, Central Penn Business Journal, 2/20/2008 (Click to read)
ALSO "...Whether or not the pipeline is built depends on many factors, including receiving Congressional support and assistance, financing, construction requirements and costs and regulatory issues, among others...." from: Proposed ethanol pipeline to enter Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Business Times, February 20, 2008 (Click to read)

"...the green-fuel boom touted as a clean, eco-friendly alternative to gasoline is proving to have its own dirty costs. Growing corn demands lots of water, and, in eastern Colorado, this means intensive irrigation from an already stressed water table, the great Ogallala Aquifer. One sign of trouble: in just the past two decades, farmers tapping into the local aquifers have helped to shorten the North Fork of the Republican River, which starts in Yuma County, by 10 miles. The ethanol boom will only hasten the drop further, say scientist and engineers studying the aquifers. The region's water shortage has pitted water-hungry farmers against one another. And lurking in the cornrows: lawsuits and interstate water squabbles could shut down eastern Colorado's estimated $500 million annual ethanol bonanza with the swing of a judge's gavel. Collectively, "[ethanol] is clearly not sustainable," says Jerald Schnoor, a professor of engineering at the University of Iowa and co-chairman of an October 2007 National Research Council study for Congress that was critical of ethanol...." from: Liquid Gold: Ethanol is supposed to be good for the environment. But producing green fuel can cost a lot of water.  by Jim Moscou, Newsweek Web Exclusive, February 21, 2008 (Click to read)

"Two companies yesterday proposed building a 1,700-mile pipeline to carry ethanol from the Midwest through Central Pennsylvania to New York. The project would cost more than $3 billion..."
...The proposed pipeline would be the first to funnel ethanol to the East Coast, which now gets the fuel primarily by rail, Milbourne said. The structure could carry up to 10 million gallons of ethanol daily from Midwest production facilities to distribution points in Pittsburgh, Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and New York...."
  New $3B ethanol pipeline could run through midstate by David Dagan, Central Penn Business Journal, 2/20/2008 (Click to read)
ALSO "...Whether or not the pipeline is built depends on many factors, including receiving Congressional support and assistance, financing, construction requirements and costs and regulatory issues, among others...." from: Proposed ethanol pipeline to enter Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Business Times, February 20, 2008 (Click to read)

Remember it is water, water, water!!   New from Salisbury, Maryland: "...Chesapeake Renewable Energy Co. proposed building a large ethanol production facility a half mile north of Pocomoke City, in Somerset County. At the early stages of this project, I was advised by plant representatives they would require approximately 250,000 to 300,000 gallons of water per day in the production process....
...First it was 250,000 gallons per day from the Somerset aquifer; then it was 1 million gallons per day from the Pocomoke aquifer.
The latest estimate is up to 1.5 million gallons per day from the Patapsco aquifer; however, the company does not know if it can access the Patapsco from the property.
As precious as potable water is on the Eastern Shore, would you trade seven gallons of water for one gallon of ethanol? The water is worth a whole lot more than the ethanol and it is a limited resource. Corn-based ethanol is not the answer to our country's energy needs. Recent studies show there is often a net loss of oil, based upon the amount required to produce it, yet the government is focusing subsidies in this direction, thus driving demand.
Pocomoke City requires 650,000 gallons of water per day to support its residents (just under 5,000), visitors and industrial/ commercial base. Is it prudent for one industrial user to consume two times the amount of water used by an entire city?   
Ethanol plant's water use is a concern by Michael McDermott, Mayor of Pocomoke City, from: The Daily Times, Salisbury, Maryland, January 26, 2008 (Click to read)    

"Conoy Township Planning Commission said Tuesday it is unable to recommend approval of plans to build the state's first corn-to-ethanol production facility on the banks of the Susquehanna River. But it won't recommend denial, either....
..."The applicant has not provided sufficient information," Rhoads said. "If we endorse the recommendation the way it is written, we are condoning the applicant's failure to comply with the ordinance. I for one cannot do that."...
...a recommendation requiring Lancaster Biofuels to mitigate water contamination issues only if residents can prove the problem originated at the ethanol site was revised to place the burden of proof on Lancaster Biofuels. Also, a recommendation for the testing of local wells every two years was amended to every six months....
...Additional recommendations deal with noise and vibration levels at the property line, an odor-response plan, a tower to record meteorological conditions at the site, record keeping and sanitary waste. Also, Lancaster Biofuels would be asked to form a committee, composed of representatives from the community, township officials and plant representatives, to address ongoing concerns. Another recommendation would require a decommission plan to be submitted to address the safe removal of chemicals, waste and other materials in the event of plant closure. That would include insurance to cover the cost of onsite cleanup costs as well as any contamination of soil or groundwater...."
Ethanol plant plan called 'incomplete' Conoy planners list their concerns by Tom Knapp, Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster Online, February 06, 2008, Bainbridge, PA  (Click to read) 

"We are witnessing the beginning of one of the great tragedies of history. The United States, in a misguided effort to reduce its oil insecurity by converting grain into fuel for cars, is generating global food insecurity on a scale never seen before.
The world is facing the most severe food price inflation in history as grain and soybean prices climb to all-time highs. Wheat trading on the Chicago Board of Trade on December 17th breached the $10 per bushel level for the first time ever. In mid-January, corn was trading over $5 per bushel, close to its historic high. And on January 11th, soybeans traded at $13.42 per bushel, the highest price ever recorded. All these prices are double those of a year or two ago.
As a result, prices of food products made directly from these commodities such as bread, pasta, and tortillas, and those made indirectly, such as pork, poultry, beef, milk, and eggs, are everywhere on the rise. In Mexico, corn meal prices are up 60 percent. In Pakistan, flour prices have doubled. China is facing rampant food price inflation, some of the worst in decades....
Rising food prices are translating into social unrest. It began in early 2007 with tortilla demonstrations in Mexico. Then came pasta protests in Italy. More recently, rising bread prices in Pakistan have become a source of unrest. In Jakarta, 10,000 Indonesians gathered in front of the presidential palace on January 14th this year to protest the doubling of soybean prices that has raised the price of tempeh, the national soy-based protein staple. When a supermarket in Chongqing, China, where cooking oil prices have soared, offered this oil at a reduced price, the resulting stampede when doors opened killed three people and injured 31...." 
excerpt from: Why Ethanol Production Will Drive World Food Prices Even Higher in 2008 by Lester R. Brown, January 24, 2008, Earth Policy Institute (Click to read)

"...Central Illinois Energy has declared bankruptcy, the farmers who invested are now questioning many aspects of the project, including their own involvement.
The minimum lost by the farmers who spoke with the Journal Star was $29,000 each for investing in just one share, not including the value of the corn they delivered. Farmers who purchased more than one share lost much more, and some farmers say they might lose their farms.
"It makes us all look so stupid," said one. "I'm trying to explain to my wife and son why I did this, and it doesn't make any sense."... 
excerpts from: 'It makes us all look so stupid' Canton-area farmers share story of how they lost at least $29,000 on ethanol plant by Brenda Rothert, Peoria Journal Star, Peoria, Illinois, Sunday, January 20, 2008  (Click to read)

Cellulosic ethanol for fuel:  "It will be at least a decade before technological breakthroughs allow ethanol fuel to be produced commercially from farm and forest waste like wood chips, switchgrass and corn stalks, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee said on Tuesday....
...I think we are 10 years away," said Peterson, speaking at the Reuters Global Agriculture and Biofuel Summit.
"I really think the more I look at this whole cellulosic issue, there is a lot bigger problem to overcome here than people realize in terms of the feedstocks. We have a lot of work to do in that regard," he said. "I'm not sure cellulosic ethanol will ever get off the ground."...
Ethanol can't be shipped through the same pipelines that carry other petroleum products...." 
excerpts from: Lawmaker says cellulosic ethanol a decade away  by Tom Doggett, Reuters, Washington, Tuesday, January 15, 2008  (Click to read)

..."The issue is ethanol -- or opposition to it -- and it appears that the corn-based petroleum substitute has gone from panacea to pariah in the U.S. in just one growing season. Given all the opposition to it, suddenly struggling ethanol is likely to face considerable difficulty recovering its footing anytime soon....
...after sitting for decades at about $2 a bushel, the price of corn has almost doubled thanks to the use of the crop in ethanol. This has angered livestock and food companies, whose own economics are closely tied to corn prices....
...But the bigger difficulty for the nation, it seems to me, is that ethanol has been boosted -- by the president, the Congress, and the Midwest farm lobby -- from what should have been one among many solutions to our worsening energy situation to essentially be-all-and-end-all status. Indeed, in looking specifically at the president's leadership on the broad energy subject, I'm forced to note that (as my Foolish friends well know) he once governed Texas, which is still the home of more energy companies than all the other states combined...." 
  Ethanol Is Running Out of Gas by David Lee Smith, The Motley Fool, December 5, 2007 (Click to read)

"...In the span of one growing season, ethanol has gone from panacea to pariah in the eyes of some. The critics, which include industries hurt when the price of corn rises, blame ethanol for pushing up food prices, question its environmental bona fides and dispute how much it really helps reduce the need for oil.
A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development concluded that biofuels "offer a cure [for oil dependence] that is worse than the disease." A National Academy of Sciences study said corn-based ethanol could strain water supplies. The American Lung Association expressed concern about a form of air pollution from burning ethanol in gasoline. Political cartoonists have taken to skewering the fuel for raising the price of food to the world's poor....
...One by the National Research Council said additional ethanol production could strain water supplies and impair water quality. A spring 2007 report by the Environmental Protection Agency said that "ozone levels generally increase with increased ethanol use."
A study coauthored by Nobel-prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen said corn ethanol might exacerbate climate change as the added fertilizer used to grow corn raised emissions of a very potent greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide. The ethanol industry replies to that one with an Energy Department study concluding that use of ethanol reduces greenhouse-gas emissions by 18% to 28% on a per-gallon basis, provided that coal isn't used to run ethanol plants.
Opponents of ethanol also have hammered on an Agriculture Department projection that by 2010, less than 8% of the U.S. gasoline supply will come from corn-based ethanol -- and 30% of the corn crop will be used to make it. That suggests to some that the tradeoff between food and fuel is unbalanced.
At the same time, some foreign countries have been increasingly questioning ethanol. Mexico blamed it in part for contributing to rising prices of corn-based tortillas. China barred new biofuel plants from using corn, and Malaysia trimmed its biofuels production mandates. Cuban President Fidel Castro has called using food crops for fuel a "sinister idea." President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela ordered troops to secure his oil-producing nation's grain supplies, saying corn was to be used for food, not fuel...."  excerpts from: 
Ethanol Craze Cools As Doubts Multiply Claims for Environment, Energy Use Draw Fire; Fighting on the Farm by Lauren Etter, Page A1, Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2007 (Click to read entire article)
Also answer their "Question of the Day" and see the results. (Click)

"...The City Council voted 7-2 early today to reject a controversial proposal to build one of the country's largest ethanol plants on the Elizabeth River's Southern Branch, a half mile from a residential neighborhood in Portsmouth.
The vote came about 3:30 a.m. today, following more than five hours of public comment on the proposed plant.
Council members were won over by Portsmouth and Chesapeake residents concerned about the plant's traffic, air emissions and water usage.
"Nothing should be forced on a community," said Councilman C.E. "Cliff" Hayes Jr., who made the motion to deny the proposal. "The people most closely affected are saying, 'No.' That's not a difficult decision for me."  from
Chesapeake City Council says no to ethanol plant by Mike Saewitz, The Virginian-Pilot, Chesapeake, VA, November 21, 2007  (Click to read)

Penn-Mar Ethanol LLC has withdrawn its application for permits for the Cumberland Business Park site.  From the PADEP eFacts website:
Authorization ID: 586597
Client: PENN MAR ETHANOL LLC Authorization Type: Site Specific Installation Permit Application Type: New Date Received: 3/30/2005 Status: Withdrawn on 11/14/2007

"Foes of the proposed ethanol plant swept the five open seats for Mayfield Borough Council.
Three ethanol opponents today have won apparent victory in write-in campaigns for four-year terms..."
from Ethanol opponents sweep in Mayfield by David Singleton, The Times-Tribune, Scranton, PA, 11/09/2007 (Click here to read)
The Mayfield, PA for Concerned Mayfield Residents website is: http://www.noethanol.org

November 9, 2007 Update on schedule for PA 997 Bridge over I-81 near Chambersburg Mall, Franklin County  (Click to go to the 997 Bridge Info Page)

"Greater cultivation of crops to produce ethanol could harm water quality and leave some regions of the country with water shortages, a panel of experts is reporting. And corn, the most widely grown fuel crop in the United States, might cause more damage per unit of energy than other plants, especially switchgrass and native grasses, the panel said...."  Panel Sees Problems in Ethanol Production by Cornelia Dean, The New York Times, October 11, 2007 (Click to read) 
"...In terms of water quantity, the committee found that agricultural shifts to growing corn and expanding biofuel crops into regions with little agriculture, especially dry areas, could change current irrigation practices and greatly increase pressure on water resources in many parts of the United States. The amount of rainfall and other hydroclimate conditions from region to region causes significant variations in the water requirement for the same crop, the report says. For example, in the Northern and Southern Plains, corn generally uses more water than soybeans and cotton, while the reverse is true in the Pacific and mountain regions of the country. Water demands for drinking, industry, and such uses as hydropower, fish habitat, and recreation could compete with, and in some cases, constrain the use of water for biofuel crops in some regions. Consequently, growing biofuel crops requiring additional irrigation in areas with limited water supplies is a major concern, the report says...."   Increase in Ethanol Production From Corn Could Significantly Impact Water Quality and Availability if New Practices and Techniques Are Not Employed October 10, 2007 News Release from The National Academy of Sciences (Click to read)

...“The end of the ethanol boom is possibly in sight and may already be here,” said Neil E. Harl, an economics professor emeritus at Iowa State University who lectures on ethanol and is a consultant for producers. “This is a dangerous time for people who are making investments....”
"...companies are already shelving plans for expansion and canceling new plant construction. If prices fall more, as many analysts predict, there is likely to be a sweeping consolidation of the industry, and some smaller companies could go out of business...."

Ethanol’s Boom Stalling as Glut Depresses Price by Clifford Krauss, The New York Times, September 30, 2007  (Click to read entire article)

"In the politically motivated rush to replace gasoline with corn ethanol, we may be doing ourselves real economic harm.  The government-supported push for ethanol will not only increase taxes and damage the environment, but will add to Americans' burden of high fuel and food costs and especially hurt people on fixed incomes. And it will do almost nothing to reduce dependence on foreign oil -- all of the ethanol production this year will replace less than 5 percent of the gasoline sold.
Clearly, there is a limit to how much of the U.S. corn crop can be gobbled up for ethanol without pushing food prices higher and higher. Increased production of corn-based ethanol during just the past 12 months has raised food prices by $47 per person, according to a study by Iowa State University. Before the summer is over, the price of milk is expected to jump 40 cents a gallon, and up to 60 cents more for a pound of cheese...."
  Ethanol addiction drives up taxes and food costs by Mark J. Perry, From the Allentown Morning Call Another View, September 18, 2007  (Click to read entire article)

"...While some attempts have been made to promote alternative energies (wind, biodiesel, and corn ethanol), these initiatives have not always proven to be clean, affordable and reliable. Subsidizing corn ethanol, for instance, could worsen smog while driving up the cost of staples such as milk and cereal. We need to know what works – and what doesn't work – before moving forward with any energy initiative...." from  Energy Independence Starts with Common Sense by Senator Mike Folmer, represents Berks, Chester, Dauphin, Lancaster, and Lebanon Counties, September 24, 2007  (Click to read on Senator Folmer's website)

"...Earlier this year, rising prices of corn imports from the United States triggered mass protests in Mexico. The chief of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that rising food prices around the world have threatened social unrest in developing countries.
A recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an economic forum of rich nations, called on the United States and other industrialized nations to eliminate subsidies for the production of ethanol which, the report said, is driving up food costs, threatening natural habitats and imposing other environmental costs. "The overall environmental impacts of ethanol and biodiesel can very easily exceed those of petrol and mineral diesel," it said.
The economics of corn ethanol have never made much sense. Rather than importing cheap Brazilian ethanol made from sugar cane, the United States slaps a tariff of 54 cents a gallon on ethanol from Brazil. Then the government provides a tax break of 51 cents a gallon to American ethanol producers - on top of the generous subsidies that corn growers already receive under the farm program...."

The misguided politics of corn ethanol   International Herald Tribune, September 19, 2007 (Click to read)

Friedman, Billings, Ramsey sees little fuel for investors in ethanol stocks.
Ethanol prices have fallen 30% over the past few months, and FBR analyst Eitan Bernstein said in a report that pricing is unlikely to firm up next year...."

Market Scan Balloon Punctured For Ethanol Carl Gutierrez, Forbes Magazine, September 20, 2007 (Click to read)

"...Despite recent media hype, farmers are not getting rich off record prices in the dairy case. The cost of milk has gone up 50 to 60 cents in the past few months, with consumers paying close to $4 per gallon in Los Angeles, Chicago and New Orleans. But dairy farmers are still getting less than half of that money — about $1.60 per gallon.
Rising fuel costs and corn ethanol demands are partly to blame.

Americans getting milked by Joel Greeno, Tracy Press, September 7, 2007 (Click to read)

"...Lancaster Biofuels last week asked the township to approve the venture as a conditional use, a requirement for the plant to be built on an industrial parcel, such as the project site.
The 65-acre tract is between Route 441 and the Susquehanna River in the northwest corner of the county, a tract where another firm once had plans for an ethanol plant, but withdrew in 2005....
They question the geologic soundness of the tract, worry about the plant's effects on the area's quality of life and are skeptical about its impact on the overall energy market.
"There are residents of Conoy Township who were made aware of the problems of an ethanol plant two years ago, and those problems still exist with any ethanol plant," said Judith Nissley.
Nissley is an owner of Nissley Vineyards, located a mile from the plant site, and a leader in Conoy Concerned Citizens, a group opposed to the project.
She added that a recent township survey of residents found most favor having low-impact industries on tracts such as the plant site, a term that would not describe an ethanol plant.
"There's no way you can consider an ethanol plant 'low-impact.' It will have a huge impact," said Nissley...."
Zoning OK sought for $100M ethanol plant Conoy Township planning series of public hearings, beginning in September. by Tim Mekeel, Lancaster New Era, Tuesday, August 14, 2007 (Click to read)

"...some operators of plants on the low end of the production scale are already getting jittery about what will happen to them if corn continues to linger around $4 a bushel and the cost to transport ethanol stays high.
"They have every reason to be nervous," said Peter Gray, head of the energy and natural resources division at KPMG Corporate Finance, the investment banking arm of KPMG. "Ethanol is part of the solution in the U.S. and part of the problem. What we've had here is massive overbuild...."
  Big ethanol shakeout coming? by Jeff Cox, Contributing writer, CNNMoney.com, August 15 2007, CNNMoney.com (Click to read)

Ethanol Scam: Ethanol Hurts the Environment And Is One of America's Biggest Political Boondoggles by Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone Magazine, July 20, 2007 (Click to read the entire article)

The cost of fuel ethanol from corn!! "Milk seems to go up 20 cents every time I buy it, and fresh fruits are just out of sight," said the Pinellas Park retiree. "Is it my imagination or are prices for everything going up?"
...The culprits? The cyclical vagaries of weather on seasonal crops, the rising cost of energy to produce, package and transport food and - the new wrinkle - the tab for shifting more of America's reliance on foreign oil to ethanol blends made from corn. That's sent corn commodity prices soaring....
...Corn is in just about everything. Feed is half the cost of raising a chicken, 40 percent for a steer. It's an ingredient in adhesives, shampoos and packaging. Even soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi are affected because high-fructose corn syrup is used as a sweetener.
The percentage of the corn crop headed to ethanol plants is forecast to jump to 31 percent from 14 within 10 years, according to USDA.
Ethanol production increased fivefold to 5-billion gallons in 2006. It's supposed to triple within five years as a plant-building binge continues, so it's not a matter of simply planting more corn next spring. USDA experts expect ethanol conversion backed by federal subsidies will keep corn prices high for years...."
  Ethanol use sends food prices up, up, up  The tab for the increasing use of ethanol blends is creating a ripple effect felt in the grocery checkout line. by Mark Albright, Times Staff Writer, St. Petersburg Times, Florida, July 15, 2007  (Click to read)

"...An unprecedented surge in global demand is behind the 23 percent rise in food prices that the International Monetary Fund recorded during the last 18 months. ``We haven't seen anything on this scale before,'' says Martin von Lampe, an agricultural economist in Paris at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The demand, triggered in part by the increasing use of agricultural commodities to make ethanol and other substitutes for crude oil, might keep prices high for years. The OECD sees U.S. output of corn-based ethanol and European consumption of oilseeds for biofuels doubling by 2016.

Chinese and Brazilian production of ethanol will expand even faster, it said in a July 4 report with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.  
Rising prosperity in China and other emerging nations is also spurring demand, particularly for value-added items such as meat and dairy products, the report said.
``We are sitting on structural changes that will affect agricultural prices for a long time to come,'' Paul Polman, chief financial officer of Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestle SA, the world's largest food company, said last month.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's estimate for global inventories of grain are at the lowest level in 30 years in terms of days of consumption, says Carl Weinberg, chief economist for High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, N.Y...."
Economists alarmed by food costs 23% jump in last 18 months could bring interest rate hikes, sparks inflation concerns by Rich Miller and Bob Willis, Bloomberg News Service, published by the Akron Beacon Journal, July 17, 2007  (Click to read)

Economics of corn ethanol:  "...there's no getting around the corn-ethanol price connection. Corn prices are up despite projections of a record 12.5 billion-bushel corn harvest in the United States this year -- because ethanol producers will eat up 27% of the U.S. corn crop this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn consumption by ethanol producers is projected to climb to 3.4 billion bushels in 2007, up from 2.2 billion bushels in 2006, when ethanol producers consumed 20% of the corn crop....
...If you grilled steak on this past Memorial Day, it cost 5.5% more than a year ago, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Think you can escape by barbecuing chicken? Forget it. Whole chickens cost 7.7% more than they did in May 2006. Milk and cheese are up, too, since corn makes up the bulk of a dairy cow's diet. Milk prices are up about 3% from a year ago, or about 10 cents a gallon, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But higher costs could push up the price of a gallon of milk by an additional 40 cents in the next few months to a national average of $3.78 a gallon...."
  from How ethanol bites you in the wallet by Jim Jubak, Jubak's Journal, MSN.com, June 8, 2007   (Click to read)

Remember it is water, water, water!! from Virginia: "...A proposed ethanol plant could use up to 1.5 million gallons of water each day - about the same amount used by 20,000 city residents....
...Many ethanol plants use 3 or 4 gallons of water for each gallon of ethanol produced, experts say.
Residents of Tampa, Fla., were concerned about one company's request for 375,000 gallons of water a day, questioning whether an ethanol plant would burden a city that already has asked residents to water their lawns only once a week.
"This is like plugging in a small city, as far as the amount of water they want to use," Steve Daignault, Tampa's administrator of public works and utilities, said of ethanol plants.
Near Champaign, Ill., a cluster of proposed ethanol plants has smaller surrounding cities worried about the toll on an aquifer that supplies much of the area's public water.
"If we're not there already, I'll bet we're not far off from finding out that a gallon of water is more valuable than a gallon of gasoline," said Bill Ingold, the mayor of Paxton, Ill., a city of 4,500 people about 30 miles north of Champaign...."
from Proposed ethanol plant would need water from city – lots of it by Mike Saewitz, The Virginian-Pilot, Chesapeake, VA, June 10, 2007, (Click to read)

Polluted water!!  "...much of the fertilizer that farmers use is made with imported natural gas. But those successes have one certain cost: more oxygen-stealing chemicals running off farms to choke rivers and lakes with algae.
Like newborn babes, those tiny, willowy corn plants demand plenty of feeding — an average of 156 pounds of nitrogen and 80 pounds of phosphorus per acre on Illinois' corn crop since 2000, according to government figures. Unlike soybeans, alfalfa and certain other crops, corn requires heavy applications of fertilizer because it is unable to take nitrogen from the atmosphere.
The new corn planted across the country translates to millions of pounds of extra fertilizer, an additional pollution burden that could further harm rivers and lakes already damaged by farm chemicals....
...J. Wayland Eheart, the University of Illinois civil engineering professor who supervised the modeling, said that more study is needed on increased pollution from ethanol production and ethanol plants' heavy use of water.
"Not only might the ethanol plants be causing more pollution to be put into water, they might be using up the water that dilutes the pollutants we already have," said Eheart, noting that it takes more than 3 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of ethanol...."
 from: More ethanol means more corn -- and more water pollution by Bill Lambrecht, Post-Dispatch, Washington Bureau Chief, 06/10/2007 Charleston, Ill.  (Click to read)

..."To put E20 in the fleet that's out there is going to corrode every non-ethanol fueling system," Lutz* told the Free Press in an interview. "We absolutely guarantee the destruction of the engine and the fuel injection system if we go the E20 route. It will not work...."
"E20 could create problems for consumers, and the use of E20 could result in voided warranties," said Charles Territo, spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the industry trade group that includes Detroit's automakers, Toyota Motor Co. and others. "We're all for the use of ethanol, but we need to make sure we aren't doing things that can have an adverse impact on performance...."
  Ethanol blends prove divisive Auto and fuel industries are at odds over amount to use by Justin Hyde, Detroit Free Press, Washington Staff, April 7, 2007 (Click to read entire article)
*General Motors Corp. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz

Caution for boat operators from article titled Ethanol fuel may leave boats dead in the water:
"...Ethanol stirs up the junk in your tanks, and if it gets brought into the injectors, it's going to be a real problem,...”
...Seaworthy magazine cautioned boaters last fall that ethanol could break down the fiberglass, creating a black sludge that gums up valves and intake manifolds, destroying the boat's motor.
“That's not a cheap fix,” Madore said. “It involves cutting out the tank and replacing it with an aluminum one. It's a lot of money and several weeks without your boat....”

Ethanol fuel may leave boats dead in the water by  J. Staas Haught, May 3, 2006, pressof AtlanticCity.com (Click to read entire article)

C4aQE asked Dr. Tad Patzek and Dr. David Pimentel: Can ethanol blends be used in conventional lawn and garden tractors, and lawnmowers without damage to the seals and engine? 
No ethanol cannot be used in lawn mowers, motor boats, chain saws, etc.  E85 would simply make these engines not start at all. E10 dissolves rubber seals and hoses, and makes it more difficult to start the engine, especially in cold weather.  I go around as long as it takes to get ethanol-free gasoline for my chain saw." Dr. Tad Patzek ► Dr. Tad Patzek (Professor, University of California, Berkeley) Information - Click here
"...you should be careful about using ethanol blends in lawn mowers and garden tractors. The ethanol can dissolve plastics and other items in the engine and also cause corrosion in the engine."  from Dr. David Pimentel
► Dr. David Pimentel (Professor, Cornell University) Information - Click Here)
(Click for more info about corrosive affects of higher ethanol blends)

Ethanol's Growing List of Enemies by Moira Herbst, BussinessWeek.com, March 19, 2007 (Click to read)

"...A new ethanol surge could cause more problems than it solves. Last year's astounding growth in ethanol gobbled up 20 percent of the U.S. corn crop. That surpasses all the corn Americans consumed last year-whether in cereal, corn-syrup-sweetened soda, or on the cob. And the strain has become severe on the nation's primary use of corn-as feed for dairy and beef cattle, pigs, and chickens. Meat, dairy, and egg producers are reeling from corn prices that have doubled in one year-now trading above $4 a bushel for the first time in more than a decade.
The impact may really be felt when meat prices take off at the start of this summer's grilling season. "The American consumer is making a choice here," says Dick Bond, chief executive of Tyson Foods. "This is either corn for feed or corn for fuel." He indicated his company intends to be active in the farm bill debate on Capitol Hill, and some livestock groups recently wrote a letter to warn the secretary of agriculture of their concerns. Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute warns that ethanol is on track to consume half of the U.S. corn crop as early as 2008. He is calling for a moratorium on new refineries, similar to the one the world's No. 3 ethanol producer, China, announced in December.  "We used to have a food economy and an energy economy," says Brown. "The two are merging. We need to ... think through carefully what we're doing."
Ethanol's boosters are confident farmers will plant more acres and increase the yield of corn per acre, with the help of new seed and genetic engineering technology-easing the price pressure. But for now, the futures market shows corn prices climbing further. That's despite the fact that farmers are on track to plant 88 million acres of corn this year-up 10 million over 2006 and more than has been planted in the United States at any time since the 1940s, when crop yields were a fraction of today's...."

Is Ethanol the Answer? Politically it's a winner. But experts aren't sure ethanol can deliver on its promise by Marianne Lavelle and Bret Schulte 2/4/07print edition of U.S. News & World Report (Click to read)

"Forget about oil as the inflation bogeyman we should fear the most. The surging price of corn is the latest threat to American wallets, and where it hits them might go beyond the supermarket.
The issue really starts with the government's push to increase the use of alternative fuels like ethanol to reduce reliance on foreign oil. Because most U.S. ethanol is made from corn, that burgeoning boom is straining corn supplies, and boosting prices.
That makes everything from soda (sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup) to the steak from corn-fed beef more expensive. It's also crimping ethanol producers' profitability, which could lead to calls for increased federal subsidies to keep them afloat.
Ethanol may fuel inflation, Surge in corn prices also squeezes profit margins By Rachel Beck, Associated Press, Beacon Journal, Ohio, February 10, 2007  (Click to read)

"...In Mexico, the price of corn tortillas--the dietary staple of the country's poorest--has risen by about 30% in recent months, leading to widespread protests and price controls. In China, the government has put a halt to ethanol-plant construction for the threat it poses to the country's food security. Thus is a Beltway fad translated into Third World woes..."
Very, Very Big Corn Ethanol and its consequences. The Wall Street Journal Opinion Page, Saturday, January 27, 2007   (Click to read entire article)

"...Nearly all Mexican tortillas are made of home-grown white maize, rather than the yellow variety that is more common in the United States. The growing popularity of subsidised ethanol across the border has prompted the price of yellow corn, quoted in Chicago, to rise by over 50% since October. So industrial users of imported yellow corn in Mexico (for animal feed and syrup) started buying white maize instead.
The government was slow to react. The tariff on imported maize is not due to disappear under the North American Free Trade Agreement until next year. But the government could have blunted the price rise by waiving the tariff or moving quickly to expand the tariff-free quota, says Luis de la Calle, a former trade official...."

Tortilla blues from The Economist print edition, Feb 1st 2007, MEXICO CITY

"The Earth Policy Institute says that 79 ethanol plants are under construction, which would more than double ethanol production capacity to 11 billion gallons by 2008. Yet late last month, the Renewable Fuels Association said there were 62 plants under construction. 
The lower tally has led to an underestimate of the grain that would be needed for ethanol, clouding the debate over the priorities of allocating corn for food and fuel, said Lester R. Brown, who has written more than a dozen books on environmental issues and is the president of the Earth Policy Institute. “This unprecedented diversion of corn to fuel production will affect food prices everywhere,” Mr. Brown said....  

...Mr. Brown is among those who believe the ethanol industry is growing too quickly. He called for a federal moratorium on the licensing of new distilleries. “We need a time out, a chance to catch our breath and decide how much corn can be used for ethanol without raising food prices,” he said Thursday...."

Rise in Ethanol Raises Concerns About Corn as a Food by Alexei Barrionuevo, The New York Times, January 5, 2007 (Click to read)

Click for info on the use of coal to power ethanol plants
"...For years, farmers’ hearts would leap when the word “ethanol” appeared in a newspaper headline.     
Now farmers almost dread it because they know the ensuing story is likely to outline the inevitable bust that awaits them if the current unplanned, willy-nilly ethanol boom continues...
. from  No easy answers to ethanol dilemma by Alan Guebert For the Lincoln Journal Star, November 26, 2006 (Click to read)
Click for new info on the Economics of ethanol production

"NORTHBROOK, Ill. — The laboratory that hands out the famous UL safety listing, Underwriters Laboratories, has yanked its certification for ethanol fuel pumps, saying there is a corrosion issue.
The decertification affects pumps selling blends of more than 15 percent ethanol. The most common blend is 85/15, or 85 percent gasoline to 15 percent ethanol, and it is not clear whether the UL's move will mean these pumps will eventually have to be taken out of service...."
   E85 Setback: UL Won't Endorse Ethanol Pumps  Edmunds.com, October 19, 2006 (Click to read)
Click for more ethanol info on this page

"...But just what the Underwriter’s decision will mean to those projects and the industry was not immediately clear. Without the certification from Underwriters Laboratories, the company that tests thousands of products for safety and manages the “UL” symbol, state officials and ethanol industry executives say E85 pumps may run afoul of state and local fire codes that require “listed” equipment for pumping fuel...."

Product safety lab yanks E85 approval  Palladium-Item.com, Richmond, IN, October 18, 2006 (Click to read)

"...Drengenberg said as UL began to examine the system, it realized it needed more information about how ethanol reacted over long periods of time with parts made from certain metals.
"We looked at it very carefully and we found this issue of the corrosiveness of ethanol," Drengenberg said. "We're going to hold back until we get all the questions that came into our minds answered."
  Safety group stalling on E85 Most stations likely violate fire codes by Justin Hyde, Detroit Free Press, Washington Bureau, October 20, 2006  (Click to read)

"...This year cars, not people, will claim most of the increase in world grain consumption. The problem is simple: It takes a whole lot of agricultural produce to create a modest amount of automotive fuel.
The grain required to fill a 25-gallon SUV gas tank with ethanol, for instance, could feed one person for a year. If today's entire U.S. grain harvest were converted into fuel for cars, it would still satisfy less than one-sixth of U.S. demand...."
  Ethanol could leave the world hungry  One tankful of the latest craze in alternative energy could feed one person for a year.... by Lester Brown, Fortune at CNNMoney.com, August 16, 2006 (Click to read the entire article)

"Tests and an investigation by Consumer Reports conclude that E85 ethanol will cost consumers more money than gasoline and that there are concerns about whether the government’s support of flexible fuel vehicles is really helping the U.S. achieve energy independence....
...When Consumer Reports calculated the Tahoe’s driving range, it found that it decreased to about 300 miles on a full tank of E85 compared with about 440 on gasoline. So, motorists using E85 would have to fill up more often....
...Despite the scarcity of E85, the Big Three domestic auto manufacturers have built more than 5 million FFVs since the late ‘90s, and that number will increase by about 1 million this year.
A strong motivation for that is that the government credits FFVs that burn E85 with about two-thirds more fuel economy than they actually get using gasoline, even though the vast majority may never run on E85. This allows automakers to build more large, gas-guzzling vehicles than they otherwise could under Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules...."

Excerpts from Consumer Reports Tests Show That E85 Ethanol Offers Cleaner Emissions—But Poorer Fuel Economy  Consumer Reports, October 2006 (Click to read)
ALSO:  The ethanol myth Consumer Reports' E85 tests show that you’ll get cleaner emissions but poorer fuel economy ... if you can find it  Consumer Reports, October 2006 (Click to read)

"...Even if all of the 300 million acres (500,000 square miles) of currently harvested U.S. cropland produced ethanol, it wouldn't supply all of the gasoline and diesel fuel we now burn for transport, and it would supply only about half of the needs for the year 2025. And the effects on land and agriculture would be devastating....
...Recently, there has been lots of excitement and media coverage about how Brazil produces ethanol for its automobile fuel and talk that America should follow its lead. But Brazil consumes only 10 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel annually, compared with America's 170 billion. There are almost 4 million miles of paved roads in America -- Brazil has 60,000. And Brazil is the leading producer of sugar cane -- more than 300 million tons annually -- so it has lots of agricultural waste to make ethanol...."
  The False Hope of Biofuels, For Energy and Environmental Reasons, Ethanol Will Never Replace Gasoline by James Jordan and James Powell, Washington Post, Sunday, July 2, 2006; Page B07 (Click to read article)

"Skeptical about protests from chronic complainers that the odor of an ethanol plant was intolerable, Larry Hardison pulled out his kayak.
He paddled upriver of Tate & Lyle, then downriver. The odor started out tolerable, got worse, then overwhelmed him. He ended his excursion dry heaving over the side of his boat.
Hardison, it is worth noting, is not an environmental wacko. He is chairman of an air quality task force created by Loudon County, Tennessee's three elected governmental bodies…."
   Is plant worth the stink? Economics of proposed ethanol facility good for city, but odor a negative by Eric Fleischauer, DAILY Business Writer, The Decatur Daily News, August 13, 2006 (Click to read)

Federal, Multi-State Clean Air Act Settlement with Cargill, Inc., Secures Major Pollution Reductions - Eighty-one Percent of Uncontrolled Ethanol Production Capacity Now Under Federal Consent Decrees 9/1/95 (Click to A complete guide to understanding the Clean Air Act.)

 See the Tad Patzek video from his presentation at Wilson College in March 2006 for information about the quality of water needed to produce corn ethanol. (Click for a link to the video)

"...Another factor beyond his control also will affect Worthington's 1,100-acre crop farming operation this year: high-priced diesel fuel, fertilizer, propane and other energy products. By his estimate, those costs will add $22 per acre to his production expenses on 750 acres of corn - $16,500 in all...."
...."When you put the LP costs and the fertilizer and the diesel together, you're talking serious dollars," said Worthington, a 43-year-old, third-generation Iowa farmer. "Something has to give."
In February, the USDA forecast that U.S. farmers would spend 12.5 percent more on fuels and oils this year compared with last, with the highest prices this year occurring in the first six months. Fertilizer costs in 2006 are expected to be 6.5 percent higher...."
 Cost of raising corn grows Prices for fuel, fertilizer eat into farmers' profit by Anne Fitzgerald, DesMoines Register, May 21, 2006 (Click to read article) 

Click to read more about the Economics of Ethanol

"In a seemingly desperate attempt to convince Americans that using ethanol is not just another massive farm subsidy, but a way to lower the cost of automobile fuel, and lower dependence on foreign oil, ethanol proponents are pointing to Brazil....
...it is obvious why ethanol works in Brazil:  when you’re paying $4.20 a gallon for gas, ethanol with a wholesale price of around $1.40 and a retail price of less than $2.00 is a great deal...."
Brazil’s Success with Ethanol Cannot be Duplicated in the United States by Fred Antoun, Jr. (Click to read entire article) 

Corn Ethanol: Laundering Fossil Fuels, Bilking Taxpayers, Damaging the Environment by Tad Patzek, Energy Tribune, March 16, 2006 (Click to read)
►  Professor Tad Patzek (more info about Dr. Patzek) discussed the negative impacts of an ethanol distillery on a community at the January 30, 2006 Ethanol Forum at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA (Click for view this part of the Forum - very large file 14.3 MB .wmv file for high-speed connections only)
View Patzek's discussion of Dried Distiller's Grains & Solubles (Click for 2.7 MB .wmv file)
The Real Biofuel Cycles by Tad W. Patzek, April 17, 2006 (Click to review this paper)

CHECK YOUR VEHICLE TIRE PRESSURE TO SAVE ON FUEL CONSUMPTION!!  Vehicle tires are such an important component of fuel economy that The Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires a program which includes: "Policies and procedures to promote the purchase of energy-efficient replacement tires, including purchase incentives, website listings on the Internet, printed fuel economy guide booklets, and mandatory requirements for tire retailers to provide tire buyers with fuel-efficiency information on tires."  (Click to read more of this Section - large PDF for high-speed connections)
 ►  Tad Patzek discussed both vehicle tire pressure and ethanol mileage at the January 30, 2006 Ethanol Forum at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA (Click to view this part of his presentation - very large 5.3 MB .wmv file for high-speed connections)  Click for more info about the Ethanol Forum

Should we know this BEFORE we put it in our vehicles and supply lines??
Also part of changes to the Clean Air Act SEC. 1506.  ANALYSES OF MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL CHANGES.  Section 211 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7545) is amended by inserting after subsection (p) the following:
Section 211 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7545) is amended by inserting after subsection (p) the following:
``(q) Analyses of <<NOTE: Publication.>> Motor Vehicle Fuel Changes and Emissions Model....


``(3) Permeation* effects study.-- ``(A) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Administrator shall conduct a study, and report to Congress the results of the study, on the effects of ethanol content in gasoline on permeation, the process by which fuel molecules migrate through the elastomeric materials (rubber and plastic parts) that make up the fuel and fuel vapor systems of a motor vehicle. ``(B) Evaporative emissions.--The study shall include estimates of the increase in total evaporative emissions likely to result from the use of gasoline with ethanol content in a motor vehicle, and the fleet of motor vehicles, due to permeation.''.

Click here to review the entire Energy Policy Act of 2005 on the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Click here for the Clean Air Act on the EPA website

*Permeate according to Dictionary.com: "To pass through the openings or interstices of: liquid permeating a membrane."


"This is a very serious facility that may be too noxious for you to handle," Patzek said.
Ethanol fuels debate by Jim Hook, Public Opinion, January 31, 2006 (Click) 

"As far as a fuel, it's substandard," said Patzek. It requires 35 percent more ethanol to drive the same distance as a gallon of gasoline, he said...."

Opinions on ethanol shared at Pa. forum by Don Aines, The Herald Mail January 31, 2006 (Click)  MORE on Ethanol Forum and the Economics of Ethanol Production (Click)
Thermodynamics of the Corn-Ethanol Biofuel Cycle, Tad W. Patzek, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, February 2006.   
"More fossil energy  is used to produce ethanol from corn than the ethanol’s energy value.  Growing corn for fuel depletes and can eventually destroy soil value.  Production of ethanol from plants is unsustainable.  Only large government subsidies, courtesy of the taxpayers, support ethanol...."
(Click to read) 

Click for more on the Economics of Fuel Ethanol Production 

Ethanol production using corn
grain required 29% more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced."  Ethanol production Using Corn, Switchgrass, and Wood; Biodiesel Production Using Soybeans and Sunflower by David Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek 2005 (Click)  
Ethanol from corn: Just how sustainable is it?
Click for a pdf file of the PowerPoint Presentation by Tadeusz W. Patzek, Civil and Environmental Engineering, U.C., Berkley
► Dr. Tad Patzek (Professor, University of California, Berkeley) Information - Click here

► Dr. David Pimentel (Professor, Cornell University) Information - Click Here)

More on the Economics of ethanol production (Click)

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Human intervention (Interference so as to modify a process or situation) into the environment is inevitable.

What do we make from corn?

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Recommended Reading:
The Autoimmune
Donna Jackson Nakazawa
(Click to website)


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Greene Township Meeting Minutes and Agendas

Greene Township Meetings at

1145 Garver Lane, Scotland, PA

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Pictures of Greene Township Meetings

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of air pollutants Penn-Mar Ethanol Distillery would generated (Click)

CAFE Standards define MPG numbers
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