Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Obama's Ethanol Policies Have Scarred The Earth

Obama's Ethanol Policies Have Scarred The Earth
Green Fraud: After fomenting fears of fracking and fossil fuels, the administration's campaign to put food in our gas tanks has wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies.
Ethanol was supposed to save the earth and pave the way to energy independence. It has done neither. We are getting closer to energy independence but it is thanks to the technology known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that has unleashed our vast reserves of oil and natural gas formerly trapped in shale formations underneath much of the U.S.
Fracking was supposed to be environmentally dangerous, a process that would pollute the groundwater throughout much of America.
Yet an analysis by the Associated Press shows that while there has not been a single documented case of fracking contamination of groundwater, ethanol production has scarred and ravaged the environment it was supposed to protect.
Back in June 2010, we warned that before the first drop of oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico, there existed an "8,500 square mile 'dead zone' below the Mississippi River Delta, roughly the size of Connecticut and Delaware combined."
It was due to bottom-water hypoxia, or oxygen depletion, caused by increasing agricultural runoff into the Mississippi River caused by increasing corn production for making ethanol.
In January 2012 we again warned of ethanol's environmental threat. We wrote about how the "increased biofuel cultivation hurt the environment through increased use of pesticides, farmland expansion and agricultural runoff polluting our rivers and coastal waters."
We noted that increased "acreage means increased agricultural runoff that is creating aquatic dead zones in our rivers, bays and coastal areas."
We reported that it takes 4,000 gallons of fresh water per acre per day to replace evaporation in a cornfield. Each acre requires about 130 pounds of nitrogen and 55 pounds of phosphorous.
All that to produce something that causes as much environmental harm as the fossil fuel it would replace.
The AP analysis confirms our worst fears. "As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies," the investigation found. "Five million acres of land set aside for conservation — more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined — have vanished on Obama's watch."
Ethanol was supposed to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses, yet farmers "plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil," the AP notes.
We quoted Tim Searchinger, an agricultural expert at Princeton University, in 2010 as saying, "There is a huge imbalance between the carbon (released) by plowing up a hectare of forest or grassland from the benefit you get from biofuels."
According to David Tilman, University of Minnesota ecologist and co-author of a study published in 2010 in the journal Science, converting the grasslands of the U.S. to corn for ethanol releases excess CO2 emissions of 134 metric tons per hectare (roughly 2.47 acres).
The environmental destruction began shortly after the ethanol mandates and Renewable Fuel Standards (RVs) were passed. "Sprayers pumped out billions of pounds of fertilizer, some of which seeped into drinking water, contaminated rivers and worsened the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where marine life can't survive," the AP noted, confirming our predictions.
"They're raping the land," the AP quotes Bill Alley, a member of the board of supervisors in Wayne County, which now bears little resemblance to the rolling cow pastures shown in postcards sold at a local pharmacy, instead more closely resembling a strip mine, a landscape of deep, brown gashes and polluted streams.
We have often spoken of the expensive and uneconomical fraud green energy was. Now it's confirmed how dangerous to the environment it can be.
Apparently the Obama administration is fine with this damage as well as the environmental hypocrisy of it all.

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Prior posts on Ethanol

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