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James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

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New Report Finds US Ethanol Mandate is Destroying the Environment

In 2005, ex-President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act which included the Renewable Fuels Standard, requiring oil companies to add ethanol to their gasoline, and whilst running for presidency in 2007 Barack Obama positioned corn ethanol as one of the pillars for his proposed plan to combat global warming. It was believed that corn ethanol would help to reduce carbon emissions from burning gasoline, and also help to reduce the US’s demand for imported crude oil to make gasoline.

But an investigation carried out by the Associated Press, has discovered that ethanol is actually damaging to the environment on a level much more severe than the government is willing to admit.

Related article: Brazil Grapples with Biofuel Supply Glut

Farmers, who rushed to plant more corn in order to take advantage of the artificial demand created by the ethanol mandate, cleared millions of acres of protected land, destroying habitats and polluting local water supplies. Al Jazeera America wrote that since Obama took office five million acres of land have been converted from conservational land to corn farming, more than the combined area of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Everglades national parks.

Iowa corn farming
Corn farming in Iowa has replaced the traditional hilly, grassy landscape.
Iowa before

On top of this destruction of habitat comes the vast use of nitrogen based fertilizer, which the Associated Press say increased by over a billion pounds from 2005 to 2010, and estimate has increased by another billion pounds to the present day.

Related article: Rocky Mountain Tree-Killers, The New Biomass

Some of that fertilizer has seeped into the water table, contaminating rivers, and eventually flowing into the Gulf of Mexico where it encouraged the growth of huge algae fields. When the algae eventually dies and decomposes it removes all of the oxygen from the sea, leaving behind a huge zone where no life can exist. 5,800 square miles of the sea floor in the Gulf are now covered by this huge dead zone bereft of life.

Mississippi dead zone
The Dead Zone at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

how the dead zone forms
How the Dead Zone forms.

Officials from the Department of Agriculture claims that the main reason for the reduction of conserved land is not corn farming, but the fact that Congress has decreased the amount of land allowed to be conserved. It also claims that the amount of fertilizer used over last decade has remained steady, and therefore ethanol production has not been responsible for any fertilizer boom.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Jimin GA on November 15 2013 said:
    It takes two gallons of water to grow enough corn to make one gallon of ethanol, causing a dramatic reduction on the water table in corn producing areas. Ethanol pollutes the air more than gasoline. Ethanol yields less power than gasoline, requiring more to produce the equivalent power, thereby reducing mileage. Finally, producing corn for ethanol raises food prices.

    Only Washington and it's lobbyists could support such a damaging program in the name of "energy independence", a promise made and broken by every president for 50 years.
  • Ed Sunderland on November 14 2013 said:
    The framers actually considered placing bills open to the public for one year before voting on an act that would effect the citizens of this country. Today a known bad bill is a product to double down on and increase so long as it is expensive and hurts the citizen in favor of a senator or congressman reelection coffers.

    We know big business can cut checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars to position congressman to favor corn production for ethanol. The regular folks are lucky if they can handle an extra $20 for a reelection campaign. That answers the question as to why the folks eat dirt shoveled by congress.

    The EPA is busy doing the illegitimate presidents bidding killing the coal industry, wiping out Federal Oil production leases and ending the last Lead producing plant in the US by inducing mandates impossible to meet. Congress is as usual ineffective and complacent while the citizen suffers with an impending and for many "deadly" Obamacare act.

    It is not unusual that the EPA isn't demanding a stop to ethanol because it is a liberal cause regardless of the fact it is damaging the environment. The liberal hypocrisy and lunacy knows knows no bounds. Take Obamacare for example, they taut the ability of this imbecilic idea to keep your "adult children to age 26" on the parents insurance when at the same time wooing the young to get on Obamacare who are crucial to the success of this incredibly ignorant, deadly to many and inept adventure in total control of the US populace.
  • Joseph E Fasciani on November 14 2013 said:
    As I near 71, w/a fifty years career in agriculture, horticulture, and vocational teaching, it's become abundantly clear that the feral gubbmint has long ceased being concerned for anything that resembles the truth in anything, even in matters so small that one wonders why they bother. Well, the answer is they can cover their sorry lying asses because they have your tax dollars to do so!

    As it is the nation now most infected w/GMO organisms of all types and kinds, so shall the USSA [not a typo] be the first to suffer a meta-catastrophe when they collapse in a cascade of unforeseen consequences. So it goes, eh?

    When I graduated HS in 1960 the Great New Thing was the 'Green Revolution', which was going to revolutionise farming and at long last feed the world. Uh huh.... I believed it, so I did the normative thing and made a career out of concern for feeding the population explosions. Nearly sixty years later, and to cover that failure, TPTB bring on the GMOs of all manner of creatures, great and small, to tortured into somss2.

    What we will see happen next is a collapse that is ten times worse than any previous, until we come to know that we MUST work w/Nature instead w/o her or against her. we live in a series of closed loop systems, and the only additive energy is from the sun: we cannot defeat the Three Laws of Thermodynamics.

    One day --un bel di!-- we may awaken from our slumber of scientism and accept the hand we've been dealt. Until then, expect the same futile re-invention of the wheel over and over, until the mind numbs. After all, it's for your own good, dontcha know....

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