New ethanol plants face an old problem - NIMBY

In recent years America's beleaguered farmers have seen some welcome relief in the form of growing demand for corn to produce ethanol. As new ethanol production plants have popped up they have created new jobs, but it hasn't all been rosy. Everyone wants more ethanol plants, just Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY). People have begun to push back against plans to build new plants in their communities (actually, ethanol NIMBYism is nothing new).

Setting up facilities like the one pictured above in small rural towns can cause a significant increase in traffic and noise. The plants also bring new emissions that some residents fear could taint other local products and produce a rather nasty smell. There is also the not insignificant issue of water demand (see exampes #1, #2, and #3). Producing ethanol from corn consumes a lot of water. That's water that the local residents need for their own use not to mention irrigation for their crops. It looks like the honeymoon may be over for corn ethanol. The cellulosic ethanol developers better get cracking.

[Source: International Herald Tribune]

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