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According to studies published by CFDC, ethanol also cuts down on “tailpipe carbon-monoxide emissions by as much as 30 percent.” Citing studies by Iowa State University and Merrill Lynch, the American Coalition for Ethanol argues that “the growth in ethanol production has caused retail gas prices to be 29 to 40 cents a gallon lower than would otherwise have been the case” and that “oil and gas prices would be 15 percent higher, if not for the availability of ethanol.” This wonder fuel, however, comes with its share of caveats.
“Since ethanol has a somewhat lower energy content than gasoline per gallon, more fuel is required to travel the same distance,” CRS reports.
It’s important to remember that ethanol cannot be transported via gasoline pipeline.
Since trucking ethanol to the coasts would undermine its energy-saving goals, and building ethanol plants closer to the coasts could exacerbate water shortages, ethanol doesn’t seem to be an ideal answer for the thirsty cities in the western United States.
Not only is corn a water-intensive crop, but ethanol-production facilities need huge amounts of water to pump out ethanol, something the city of Tampa, Fla., learned when U. Enviro Fuels announced plans to build a plant at the port there.Today, subsidies for bio-fuels run as high .3 billion per year.“The market for ethanol fuel is heavily dependent on federal incentives and regulations,” according to the CRS report.The “New Gasoline.” In the United States, 95 percent of ethanol is derived from corn. The Clean Fuels Development Coalition (CFDC) claims that for every barrel of ethanol produced, “1.2 barrels of petroleum is displaced at the refinery.” A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report explains that when blended with gasoline, ethanol can, under the right conditions, reduce emissions and extend gasoline supplies.Ethanol can even be used “as an alternative to gasoline in automobiles specially designed for its use,” CRS adds.
percent increase in the volume of water used by the industry over the previous decade.” Ethanol’s voracious appetite for water is not its only environmental side effect.