TUESDAY 4-01-08…More revelations on the “best laid plans of mice and men.” We’ve already discussed the major boondoggle regarding MTBE in our gasoline. It was supposed to be the solution to bad air in the state, but the result turned out to be toxic water in our wells and aquifers. It didn’t do the air any good either.

Then who can forget the cockamamie idea of discarding millions of tires in the ocean? It was supposed to provide fish with habitat and sanctuary. Turns out, it caused destruction of coral reefs, drove the fish away, and the massive, and expensive salvage operation got underway to retrieve those tires from the ocean floor.

Those cute little twisty light bulbs are supposed to save tons of money and energy but the Environmental Protection Agency says if you break one, you could die; don’t’ toss the remains in the trash. They have to be taken to a toxic waste site.

Now comes Ethanol. It’s suppose to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, and lower the price of gasoline. Has it? Not yet! Will it? Nope! Ethanol has to be trucked to refineries because it corrodes pipelines. Trucks use diesel.

Ethanol is made from corn. The price of corn has skyrocketed and is expected to rise even higher.

Last year, Congress voted to double production of corn-based ethanol…not because ethanol will bring down the price of gasoline, but because ethanol will be a cleaner-burning fuel that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the same bill of goods we were sold about MTBE.

USA Today reports that a third of the U.S. corn crop could be dedicated to making fuel…but increased crop output places stress on land, air and water. The negative effects of intensified crop production could offset any environmental benefits of ethanol. And, ethanol producers say they, too, will be paying more for corn which could push the price of ethanol fuel even higher.

So, just like all the other “feel good–save the planet ideas”…just what have we gained with all this ethanol frenzy?


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