George E. Acaley: Ethanol is indefensible


Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 3:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 3:35 p.m.

The Nov. 6 letter “In defense of ethanol missed the point about using corn to make ethanol. That was the only source of fiber that was mentioned in An Oct 24 Sun editorial, "Fuel or food," or my Oct. 24 letter "Stop using corn to fuel our automobiles."

The editorial mentioned not only the impact on farmers but also the United Nations' called for an “immediate temporary suspension of the ethanol requirement “ because of increase in world food prices.

My letter also mentioned that and all the tax money spent to make corn ethanol available and the higher cost of food. What I thought was the main point was that I did not want to possibly save a few cents at the pump if it would cause even one child to starve to death. (Hunger causes 5 million deaths each year to children under 5 each year in developing countries) .

As to the Nov. 6 letter's statement that “one only has to look at New York to see the results of ignoring global warming.”: Most studies show that the use of corn for ethanol actually increases global warming because it uses more engery to produce it that the net return. A Cornell University report shows that it requires 131,000 BTU’s of energy to produce 1 gallon of ethanol, and it only contains 77,000 BTU’s of energy in return. This does not count the amount of fuel to get it to the processors and the end blenders or to the loss of habitat.

We must protect our children’s future (I have grandchildren) and the environment. To do this we must stop the corn to ethanol lobby and don’t forget the millions of children who will go hungry tonight.

George E. Acaley,

Williston

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