Archer Daniels Midland in the spotlight: green fuel is not too clean

Thank Sasha Lilley if you've always suspected that the way agribusiness pushes ethanol is a bit fishy and wanted some facts to back up your feelings. Lilley, a writer for CorpWatch, wrote an excellent piece (reprinted over at Guerrilla News Network) detailing Archer Daniels Midland's (ADM) use of not-so-clean coal to make ethanol and the company's tight relationship with the U.S. federal government, which is now conveniently promoting ethanol. ADM happens to grow a lot of corn.
Here are a few choice tidbits from Lilley's story:
  • "ADM's political heft was behind the 54 cent per gallon tariff that the U.S. government has imposed on imports of sugar-cane based ethanol from Brazil, which is cheaper than ADM's corn-based fuel."
  • ADM is the tenth worst polluter on the "Toxic 100" list of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts.
  • "The Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency has charged the company with violations of the Clean Air Act in hundreds of processing units, covering 52 plants in 16 states. In 2003 the two agencies reached a $351 million settlement with the company. Three years earlier, ADM was fined $1.5 million by the Department of Justice and $1.1 million by the State of Illinois for pollution related to ethanol production and distribution."
It's impossible to summarize a detailed story like this in a short blog post, so I'm just going to suggest you go read the entire article if you're interested. It's worth your time.

[Source: Guerrilla News Network via Renewable Energy Access]

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