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Uploaded on Jul 29, 2008
If ethanol's so good, why does it need government subsidies? Without subsidies, ethanol would cost much more than gasoline. The claim that using ethanol will save energy is another myth. Studies show that the amount of energy ethanol produces and the amount needed to make it are roughly the same. And because ethanol degrades, it can't be moved in pipelines the way that gasoline can. So many more big, polluting trucks will be needed to haul it. More bad news: The increased push for ethanol has already led to a sharp increase in corn-growing, which means much more land must be plowed. That means much more fertilizer, more water used on farms and more pesticides. A University of Minnesota study shows that even turning all of America's corn into ethanol would meet only 12 percent of our gasoline demand. Studies indicate that the standard mixture of 90 percent ethanol and 10 percent gasoline pollutes worse than gasoline. Virtually all studies show that the greenhouse gases associated with ethanol are about the same as those associated with conventional gasoline once we examine the entire life cycle of the two fuels. Surely, ethanol must be good for something. And here we finally have a fact. It is good for something - or at least someone: corn farmers and processors of ethanol, such as Archer Daniels Midland, the big food processor known for its savvy at getting subsidies out of the taxpayers.