Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oh Really? "Corn growers seen limiting cellulosic ethanol"

It's amazing what passes for credible scientific news nowadays. Take for example this article from Scientific American, "Corn growers seen limiting cellulosic ethanol", dated June 12, 2007. [note: the SM article appears dead but Reuters still has it HERE] Now the story originated from that fine news source, Reuters, so perhaps we should be kind to Scientific American. But in any event, you should ask yourself, "What facts and sources did the reporter and editor use to make the sensational claim?" It's certainly not in this article. Instead it's the "opinion" of one professor. News indeed!

"It's hard to imagine growers have spent 25 years nurturing members of Congress to support tariffs and blenders credits... in order to give this game away to grass," C. Ford Runge, an economics professor at the University of Minnesota, told reporters at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

"We are going to have to find reasons to tell people to plant switchgrass and not corn," said Runge. "As long as we have the structure of corn subsidies and ethanol subsidies that's driving demand for corn-based ethanol, that's not going to happen."

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