In a letter to the editor in the Jackson Sun, a reader from Colorado says:
I applaud Mayor Jerry Gist’s economic development initiative regarding bringing an ethanol plant to Jackson; however, it’s a hollow strategy, and I urge caution.
Contrary to the popular wisdom-du-jour, ethanol is not a solution to America’s addiction to petroleum; but a dangerous distraction. Corn ethanol fuel (known as E85) causes more harm to the environment than it solves, and it takes a disproportionate amount of traditional energy to make. Industry experts estimate that, using current crop yields for corn, the United States can only produce enough ethanol to replace 6 percent of the petroleum the U.S. currently consumes.
Second, ethanol is not terribly efficient in terms of its return. In use, E85 has been found to reduce CO2 emissions by just 11 percent over gasoline, and the EPA categorizes an ethanol plant as a “major source” of pollution.
Despite all of the rhetoric and economic incentives, the truth is that automakers are the ones profiting from the ethanol issue. Instead of dedicating significant research and development dollars to improving fuel efficiency, they are eagerly producing flexfuel vehicles, which require cheap modifications to gas-guzzling SUVs. By also superficially backing E85, automakers can continue to produce highly inefficient vehicles, while continuing to bypass Federal CAF regulations and appearing to be “green.”
Please, do a little more research on the complete ethanol picture before even thinking about pursuing an ethanol plant for Jackson.
I don’t like the idea of ethanol. Corn used to produce the ‘alternative fuel’ would go to better use in feeding the hungry, not filling our gas tanks.