Sunday, February 24, 2013

Who's smearing who?

The Trib today published an op-ed BigOil's Smear, touting the benefits of Ethanol and how great it's been for Brazil.

Well, he should have checked out what's not so good about Brazil these days, in the Economist, Brazil's Economy, Wrong Numbers.

He's also conveniently missing several other facts about Ethanol production and consumption in the US:
  • US production is from corn. Our feedstock, our food, contributing to higher food prices.  40% of the US corn crop is burned as fuel.
  • Ethanol production from corn is much less efficient than from sugar cane as produced in Brazil, and consumes excessive amounts of water and land.
  •  US Ethanol production from sugar cane is infeasible, as we don't have enough land suitable for sugar cane.  South Florida and parts of Louisiana are about it, and most environmentalists are upset at the prospect of expanded sugar cane production around the Everglades.
  • The fact of the amount of subsidies the domestic Ethanol industry has received from the US government.  These have thankfully expired, so we'll see how viable Ethanol is without our subsidies.
  • Stalling production of Ethanol in Brazil.
  • Declining Ethanol production in the US in 2012 due to high corn prices.
  • Ethanol production in Brazil is an environmental disaster, driving indigenous peoples off their lands.
  • Ethanol is a corrosive and absorbs water, and cannot be added to gasoline at the refineries and transported in most current US pipelines. It must be trucked (fossil fueled) and added to the local distribution fuel supplies.
  • Many older cars, especially pre-2001, small engines, and boat engines are known to be incompatible with Ethanol. US Auto makers are murky on their engine warranties on E15 fuels from pre-2010 models. Last I checked there are still lots of older cars on the roads.
  • The dream of celluosic Ethanol remains just that. A dream. There is no meaningful production in the US.
  • Ethanol has about 2/3s the energy of gasoline, so it reduces actual fuel efficiency.
The author is Bradley Krohn, Ph.D, of Riverview is president of United States EnviroFuels, LLC, principal and manager of Highlands EnviroFuels, LLC, and Ethanol company.  His op-ed was also published in other papers state wide. Do you think he has something to win or lose? Why are the papers printing this? Why did they not offer a more balanced perspective? Are they representing your interests?

Ethanol is an environmental and fuel efficiency disaster. Even Al Gore has come out against Ethanol.

Eye On Tampa Bay is pro-choice on fuels, flex-fuel vehicles, hybrids, electrics....  Let's try them all. Subsidize nothing.  Let the market, not politicians or special interests of dictate the choices.  May the best survive.

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