Surprise: Ethonal Creates Environmental Problems

Can I color you shocked? Actually, I’m shocked that the Associated Press allowed this story to be published, and that WRAL here in Raleigh picked it up (but quickly buried it in the archives)

The secret, dirty cost of Obama’s green power push

The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America’s push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply.

Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

With the Iowa political caucuses on the horizon in 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama made homegrown corn a centerpiece of his plan to slow global warming. When President George W. Bush signed a law that year requiring oil companies to add billions of gallons of ethanol to their gasoline each year, Bush predicted it would make the country “stronger, cleaner and more secure.”

But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

True, it is not entirely fair to blame all of this on Obama, as the headline proposes. Bush pushed it, as did Clinton, Bush 41, along with a host of politicians in both parties. Much of the article aims at Obama, who is a big supporter of this boondoggle. Hey, he’s president now. But, the blame should not rest on his shoulders only

As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and contaminated water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.

Five million acres of land set aside for conservation — more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined — have been converted on Obama’s watch.

Wetlands have been destroyed, along with prairies and woodland areas, all in an attempt to plant corn to use as fuel, which even the NY Times noted a few years ago was a Bad Idea. Creating ethanol uses huge amounts of water, contributing to drought and the loss of aquifers, ponds, etc. You end up with even more pesticides and fertilizers leaching into surrounding areas and down stream. You can end up with giant amounts of nitrates in the soil and water, causing health problems. And using corn drives up the price of corn, which drives up the price of other foods. Same with soy.

And it does great damage to the real environment, not that silly “climate change” crap.


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19 Responses to “Surprise: Ethonal Creates Environmental Problems”

  1. gitarcarver says:

    I was wondering and hoping if you saw this and was going to forward it to you if you hadn’t.

    Glad you caught it.

    The Master Resource blog has an interesting article on solar power in California you might find of interest as well.

  2. I had something else from the wonderful world of Climatology tee’d up, but then read this story from WRAL on the Droid app at the gym, had to run with it.

  3. Cold_Front_Gumballs says:

    This is odd. States may differ, but in the WEst Coast, when you sign your land up for a Conservation easement, the state now owns the right to “hold” your land. You still own the land and can sell it, but you no longer have the right to do what you want to with it, unless approved.

    So, to hear that farmers are just willy nilly converting conservation land over to farm land says to me that either they are doing it illegally and willing to just pay the fine with the moolahs they get from corn\ethanol subsidies, or, the local\state conservation office approved it.

    Or, this land was never really official conservation land in the sense I’ve always known.

    But, aren’t we now told by UN and IPCC and warmists\natural climate skeptics that water is now our new boondoggle? That “good” water is now a global travesty?

    And yet, we still have gov’ts forking over millions in subsidies to turn good water in to wasted water for fuel? And alot of that water goes in to your car’s engine.

  4. Jeffery says:

    Ethanol, not ethonal.

    As is almost always the case, fuel from corn was about making money and about energy independence, not about climate. From a global warming perspective: when you burn ethanol you get heat + water + CO2. By mass, while ethanol yields less CO2 than gasoline, it also yields less energy.

  5. Cold_Front_Gumballs says:

    You like a little truth with your lies, still, I see.
    Ethanol was mainly about saving us from our global warming excesses from the use of petroleum. It’s been touted and pushed by every green organization, every liberal and socialist organization, and sadly, many RINOs if office seeking political votes.

    You also failed to mention J that ethanol takes lots more water to create, and there is a modification cost to the transport and usage of ethanol.

    But, thanks for agreeing with us that ethanol is a less-energy, more expensive, more costly fuel additive that does nothing but increase costs for consumers at a time when we should be reducing consumer costs for fuel and food.

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  16. banzel says:

    It has also created a real estate bubble for farmland. Iowa land is selling for $12,000/acre.Good luck getting this mandate repealed.

  17. banzel says:

    The conservation acreage was in federal programs that paid landholders not to plant crops. By putting the land back in production the farmers are simply giving up the direct conservation subsidies for the much larger indirect subsidy provided by the ethanol mandate.

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