Despite all the green washing out there (and there is lots of it, lets be clear), corn-based ethanol is far from a panacea in terms of reducing America’s dependence on imported oil, dependency on fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse gases and representing a good investment for the taxpayer. While supporting corn ethanol is, it seems, great politics to get through the Iowa primary, independent study after independent study shows that it is not a good deal for the taxpayer, the economy, and the environment. The absolute ‘best’ case, from honest analysis, is that this is a very costly and inefficient path for very marginal reductions in fossil-foolish dependencies and minimal greenhouse-gas emission reductions. Other analysts come out with the conclusion that we actually lose ground in GHG emissions in returns for the $billions being pumped into corn ethanol.
Right now, we seem to be watching (in slow motion?) a headlong rush into another “ethanol”-like boondoggle driven, in no small part, by the $70 million or so that T Boone Pickens has put behind promotion of The Pickens’ Plan.