More on the immorality of ethanol

I have a backlog of energy articles. That allows me to group comments together. Today’s focus: the morality of ethanol assessed based on the damage it causes.

12/17/14 – CBS Minnesota – U of M Study Finds Ethanol Worse for Air Quality Than Gasoline – When measured at the tailpipe, ethanol-laden gasoline measures about the same as regular gasoline. Study from the University of Minnesota says that when you count all of the inputs to grow corn and turn it into ethanol it is far worse for the environment than plain gasoline.

The point?

Ethanol contributes to CO2 emissions. It doesn’t reduce GGGE.

I’ll say it again: ethanol damages the environment.

6/2/15 – Robert Bryce at Bloomberg View – Corn Ethanol Is Worse Than Keystone – Yet another explanation on how ethanol damages the environment. An environmentalist group calculates that using $14 billion of corn ethanol in 2014 created 27 million tons more carbon emissions than if straight gasoline had been used.

The study calculates that ethanol has 20% higher emissions than gasoline.

So let me get this straight. Burning corn in our cars does the following:

  • Creates more emissions than if we used gasoline.
  • Is responsible for releases of CO2 when virgin grasslands are torn up and converted into cornfields.
  • The same grasslands won’t sequester additional CO2 in the future
  • Tearing up those grasslands takes away habitat from protected migratory birds.
  • Drives up the cost of food for the world’s poor, making them poorer.
  • Increases the cost of gasoline.
  • Burns up car, lawn mower, and boat engines that are not manufactured to handle the damage from ethanol.

So can someone who is smarter than me please explain to me why our society considers ethanol a moral product? Seems to me using a product that causes that much harm ought to be considered immoral.

Here is a repost my previous comment that touches on the morality of ethanol – ask yourself how a product that knowingly causes the following damage could be allowed on the market:

5/22 – Shale Plays Media – How Ethanol could corrode summer fun – Very large number of engines used on recreational boats are not designed for using ethanol. Many boaters rely on EO gas (ethanol-free) to preserve their engines. Getting ethanol into the fuel system can stall engines, corrode the fuel tanks, damage valves, eat away gaskets and rubber fuel lines.

That is a big issue for boaters.

Cars after 2001 can handle 10% corn power. The new E15 fuel can wipe out even those engines.

Oh, if you use corn powered ethanol in a motor not designed to handle that level of extremely expensive fuel, you will void the warranty. That means you get to buy that expensive new engine on your own dime.

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