The Speculist: Ethanol: the Other Side


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Ethanol: the Other Side

I was pleased to see (via InstaPundit) this favorable treatment of Robert Zubrin's views on ethanol in Newsweek. I don't think corn-based ethanol is a great way to go, especially with the heavy subsidies that seem to be required to make it happen, but at least we can have a little clarity on whether ethanol production is causing a food shortage.

It isn't.

If we're going to produce ethanol, there are much better ways to go than corn. Sugar beets would make more sense, as would organic waste. Or we might think about importing ethanol if we're really serious about the stuff.

Probably a better fuel for humans than vehicles

The other day I heard a radio ad for a local auto dealer touting its leadership in providing flex fuel vehicles within the state of Colorado. That strikes me as progress. But I want to see pumps dispensing pure ethanol (from sources other than corn) and methanol. I would take both of those as significant signs of progress.

UPDATE: More on importing. This s about as political as I ever like to get. But even if, for whatever reason, you disagree about dropping the tariff on imported ethanol, at least here's something more interesting to look at tan that tired corn photo, above.

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