Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Boondoggling our way to energy independence

When Paul Krugman, the Wall St. Journal and the Cato Institute can all agree on something, then you know you are about as close to a case of the “science being settled” as you will ever get.

The chart below represents the amount of finished motor gasoline supplied by the nation’s refineries and one will note that the curve bends downward as one would expect during a recession.

Unfortunately, Congress did not take this into account when they ordered the nation’s refineries to blend a rising volume of ethanol and other biofuels into gasoline – 15 billion gallons of biofuels by 2012 which is more than double the amount that had been blended in ’07 when this mandate kicked in.

With Americans buying more fuel efficient cars and with even more fuel efficient cars on the way, we’re left with a glut of a fuel type that doesn’t burn any cleaner than gasoline nor is it any cheaper and which represents only 3.5% of our gasoline consumption yet consumes 20% of the U.S. corn crop with the added benefit of doubling the price of corn worldwide.

It's doubtful one could devise a more counter-productive alternative enegy product than ethanol.

H/T: Carpe Diem


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Harrison said...

Biofuels are a folly. They drive up food costs, produce more pollution, and deliver less energy.

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