Counterpoint: AP missed the mark in ethanol story

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  • Updated: November 12, 2013 - 5:59 PM

Story disregarded key facts to fit a narrative that’s all too common.

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rolflindyNov. 12, 13 6:02 PM

By the time you add up all the fossil fuel needed to plant, grow, harvest, and process the corn into alcohol, there is very little net energy gain from the corn to ethanol process. IMO corn ethanol is a heavily subsidized waste of time and effort.

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notmydnrNov. 12, 13 7:09 PM

Thank you Mr. Buck for setting the story straight.

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mgvetterNov. 12, 13 7:33 PM

Fact is ethanol is not good for engines, a net energy loss to produce, and not economical when you consider the cost per mile. One of the biggest political boondoggles ever foisted on the American public. The only winners are the corn farmer and the corn state politicians.The motorist loses and the consumer loses.This would be funny if it wasn't such a rip off. This stuff makes no economic sense and would not survive without massive subsidies, a typical government program.

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gandalf48Nov. 12, 13 9:12 PM

Hey I don't hate ethanol, just remove the subsidies...after all if it's such a great product let it compete in the free market without subsidies.

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mgvetterNov. 12, 1310:08 PM

Gandalf, why don't we go one step further let's eliminate the law that ethanol has to be blended in our fuel, let the consumer in Minnesota make the decision to buy pure gasoline or ethanol. When this stuff has to face competition unsubsidized it would be gone very quickly.

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yardboyNov. 12, 1311:53 PM

Ethanol may be good for a few associated with BigAg (Monsanto, Cargill, John Deere, the farmer, etc.) but the consumer and the taxpayer are getting hosed big time. Thank you Amy and Al for looking out for the Big Boys.

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arspartzNov. 13, 13 4:10 AM

Hey I don't hate ethanol, just remove the subsidies...

...and the mandates. Let us return to E0 gasoline if we choose.

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owatonnabillNov. 13, 13 8:10 AM

The ONLY argument that needs to be made (per a study quoted by Roger Segelken in the Cornell Chronicle in 2009) is that a gallon of ethanol takes 131,000 BTU to manufacture (taking into account raising and harvesting the corn, plus the energy needed in transportation and the distillation process), but that gallon of ethanol, once produced, has an energy value of only 77,000 BTU. This is a net LOSS, per gallon of ethanol, of 54,000 BTU. In other words, it takes about 70% more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than can be taken back out of that gallon. And keep in mind that the energy used in raising the crop and producing the ethanol is in large part the very fuels that the ethanol is supposed to replace--gasoline and diesel fuels. It doesn't take an Einstein to realize just how foolhardy this whole ethanol thing really is. One doesn't even have to bring in the topics of pollution, increased food prices, agricultural runoff, etc.--all good arguments but in the end, moot. Just look at the production cost vs. profit realized, and you will realize just what a monumental boondoggle this ethanol scam actually is.

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texas_technomanNov. 13, 13 8:47 AM

Living in rural Minnesota I see every day what some farmers are doing to reap max benefits from the ethanol boondoggle. Trees are being cleared, low land tiled off, corn being planted so close to the farm houses you could pick it from inside the house. The midwest is losing thousands of acres of wildlife habitat to feed this greed. Let's eliminate all subsidies, of any kind! I'm tired of my tax dollars going to support millionaires and corporations while some talk about scaling back support for our poor and seniors.

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Izzy96Nov. 13, 13 9:14 AM

You will note Mr. Buck indicates no commitment to environmental concerns let alone an understanding of, nay answer to, the rote environmental facts presented in the AP story. That seems to characterize how most people feel today: if it benefits me today, then that is my only concern.

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