Thursday, March 24, 2005

ethanol futures begin trading

WQAD has the story about listing ethanol futures at the Board of Trade.

On Down Left I got into a discussion about ethanol.

The criticism of ethanol that resonates with me is that it takes most of a BTU of energy to produce a BTU of ethanol energy.

Are there any methods of producing ethanol that promise to make ethanol production more efficient?


Blogger DownLeft said...

I've been meaning to get over here and respond to your post. Thanks for mentioning my blog too.

I still think all of the most critical studies against ethanol are funded by the oil and gas industries. But, I'm no scientist and don't know if there are any new technologies. However, I bet if we stopped subsidizing the oil and gas industry with billions of dollars of tax dollars every year and spent a small portion of that on ethanol research that new improvements could be made within a relatively short time.

But, lets assume for the sake of argument that ethanol isn't as efficient as producing gasoline. I still think ethanol is worth it anyway. After the oil crisis in the late 70's the neoconservatives came up with a plan to ensure that the US would never again be brought to its knees by the nations with the largest supplies of oil. That plan involved putting US troops on the ground in the three nations with the largest reserves of cheaply accessible oil, and they have now succeeded in doing that.

An alternative plan would be to find a internal fuel source like ethanol that doesn't require us to topple foreign governments who might not be friendly to our interests. I think that is worth it and much more efficient than our current operations in the middle east. Since it also benefits the Illinois economy, I think we have much more to gain than to lose.

5:14 PM  

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