Umm...Where Are We Going to Grow it All?

Politicians trying to draw attention away from our dependency on foreign oil and car makers trying to draw attention away from their gas-guzzling products have one thing in common: they love to bandy about statistics showing how wonderful E85 can be, including how clean it is and how fuel efficient it can be.
But let's think about this for a moment. Is ethanol really the solution to our energy problems? First, think about the pesticides. Then, think about the water. Then, think about the farm equipment. Finally, remember the dust bowl. Is ethanol really such a good idea? David Pimentel and Tad Paztek don't think so, and have argued that switching all of the cars in the US to ethanol would require every square inch of US land to be under corn or sugar beet cultivation. They also argue that we'd use more petroleum in production than we'd save. The National Corn Growers' Association disagrees, of course, and have their own studies to address the energy issues, but aren't even touching the problem of cultivation space.

Consumers are hopefully not becoming complacent with the industry's offering of E85 as a sole solution. There are literally dozens of other green car technologies jockying for position and the market has yet to settle on a single one to combat the modern energy crisis. Some automakers' marketing departments might want us to believe otherwise.

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