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Ethanol won't solve fuel woes

May 07, 2008

Re "Bush defends ethanol emphasis," May 3

Perhaps President Bush should be better informed about the human and energy costs of corn ethanol before he touts it to reduce U.S. dependence on oil.

First, 25 gallons of corn ethanol requires an amount of grain to feed a person for a year. Second, according to a report for the National Academy of Sciences, corn ethanol provides only 25% more energy than the fossil fuel energy required to grow and process it into fuel. If replacing gasoline is the goal, research on nonfood crops for ethanol production and less energy-hungry processing methods should be supported.

To truly manage the energy and global warming problems we face, the federal government should take a hard look at policies that would support renewable energy development of all types, particularly a carbon cap or tax associated with a firm commitment to quickly end fossil fuel use.

David Perlman

Laguna Beach

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