Why Ethanol Won’t Work
It’s as simple as this (emphasis added):
To turn wood chips into ethanol fuel, George W. Bush’s Department of Energy in February 2007 announced a $76 million grant to Range Fuels for a cutting-edge refinery. A few months later, the refinery opened in the piney woods of Treutlen County, Ga., as the taxpayers of Georgia piled on another $6 million. In 2008, the ethanol plant was the first beneficiary of the Biorefinery Assistance Program, pocketing a loan for $80 million guaranteed by the U.S. taxpayers.
Last month, the refinery closed down, having failed to squeeze even a drop of ethanol out of its pine chips.
Ethanol is basically one huge boondoggle. Not only does it have less energy for the same quantity as gasoline, but it also uses food crops, thereby driving up the cost of food, as reported by sources as diverse as the Washington Times and NPR.
But the Obama Administration seems bound and determined to follow this bad Bush policy. I don’t mind it when Obama follows good Bush policies, but he’s got enough bad policies of his own without borrowing Dubya’s (and, yes, Dubya did have some really boneheaded policies… like subsidizing ethanol).