Letter to the Editor: More on ethanol
BY Jerry Appelgate, Eufaula
Monday, February 11, 2013
2/11/13 at 8:19 AM
Letter writer Terry Rose ("Don't bash ethanol," Jan. 20) should get his facts straight before defending ethanol as a motor fuel. In the U.S., ethanol is made from corn. Corn is the bellwether of the commodity grain market. When the price of corn goes up, so do the prices of wheat, soybeans, milo, barley and oats. Just follow the futures market in the business section of this paper for proof.
Livestock and poultry are fed diets made up of those grain products. Thus the cost of feeding these food-producing animals goes up. Wheat prices have doubled in the last five years: A loaf of bread is almost $4, up from $2 just a few years ago. That isn't inflation; that's the cost of producing these food items.
The drop in foreign oil imports is due to increased North American production, not the use of ethanol. Take away the government subsidies and ethanol as a fuel would disappear because it is not an efficient, profitable business without government handouts.
Ethanol in gasoline causes a reduction in fuel mileage of 5 percent to 10 percent in today's cars and trucks (my records over two years). This requires more fuel for each mile driven. How can that be considered economical?
Last but far from least is the amount of water required to produce ethanol. Water is a resource that must be protected, not wasted on a so-called "green fuel" process that is grossly overrated and actually hurts the overall economy.
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