Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Biofuels Done Right

biofuels done right corn ethanol
A new campaign by American farmers and supporters of biofuels now includes a full-page ad (pdf) running in Politico, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

The ad stresses facts about corn and ethanol that are often distorted by critics:
  • Technological innovations over the last 20 years have cut the land needed to produce one bushel of corn (56 pounds) by 37 percent and decreased soil loss by 69 percent.
  • Energy used to produce a bushel of corn has decreased by 37 percent since 1987 and greenhouse gas emissions per bushel dropped 30 percent.
  • Over the past 25 years, farmers have slashed the amount of fertilizer required to grow corn. Producing a bushel of corn today requires nearly 40 percent less nitrogen than in 1980. 
  • Natural gas is by far the largest supplier of energy for ethanol production, used in 85 percent of ethanol production. 
  • Ethanol production results in nearly twice as much energy than used in its production – and using ethanol in place of conventional gasoline helps cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 59 percent.
  • Ethanol is replacing more and more foreign oil. The production of 9 billion gallons of ethanol in 2008 is equivalent to eliminating 10 months of imports from Venezuela.

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