Why corn ethanol is especially bad for California

Many corn ethanol production facilities are located somewhere near where the corn is grown. In the U.S., that means the Midwest, for the most part. But there is a lot of motion to get ethanol out to the coasts. Juliette Anthony, writing over at Renewable Energy Access, illustrates why corn ethanol is a terrible idea for California. Here's the first graph:
Growth of the corn ethanol industry in California is fraught with unintended consequences, none of which are beneficial to the economy or the environment of the state. They include impacts on our overcommitted water resources, on our air quality, on the price of food, and on the financial burden to citizens while private investors profit.

It doesn't get better from there. Anthony details the many (and well-known) problems with corn-based ethanol, but she pays special attention to how limited water is in California. And how 'bout this gem:

If all the vehicles in California operated on E85 [the policy of the Governor and Legislature], the ethanol required would consume 70 percent of the entire U.S. corn crop, but only 13.6 percent of the energy in the fuel would be renewable because of the heavy use of fossil fuel.

All in all, the article is recommended. Perhaps Anthony would like to sign the say-no-to-ethanol petition.

[Source: Renewable Energy Access]

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