Study Finds Corn-Based Ethanol Worse than Gasoline for the Environment

Ethanol is worse than gasoline for climate

A new study could deliver a death blow to E85 ethanol fuels. It estimates corn-based ethanol actually is at least 24% more carbon-intensive than gasoline. Find out more at

Missing the mark

They also invested in alternative sources, such as cellulosic, which were intended to produce ethanol from waste products ranging from agricultural scraps to recycled paper.

“This is absolutely critical to our future,” said then-GM President Fritz Henderson in 2008, following the automaker’s investment in Coskata, an Illinois cellulosic alcohol startup. “It is in our economic self-interest for these companies to succeed.”

But that technology never lived up to its billing and dependence upon corn-based ethanol grew rapidly. Between 2008 and 2016, the new study noted, the farmland in the U.S. devoted to providing corn for alcohol grew by 6.9 million acres.

I remember all the talk about biofuels and how they were better for the climate and would ease fuel costs. It was also assumed that biofuels would be coming from agricultural waste and other woody material.  Not so much.  Corn, soybeans and wheat account for around 70% of the dollar value of US agriculture each year.  When the mandates for biofuel became more prominent in 2011, costs for cattle feed, bread and cake flour increased. So food costs went up.  And….gas prices went up.  And, we were using 40% of our corn production for biofuel.  Using our crops to power our cars rather than feeding our children and the millions of starving populations around the world remains another stain on the “green” sycophants.

Our tax dollars subsidized corn growers and ethanol refiners to produce a product we were forced to purchase. That delivers less energy for our money, adds water to our gas tanks, increases food prices, and degrades the environment.  Meanwhile, politicians and special interests still won.

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