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Get out of ethanol

By Staff | Jul 29, 2011

To the editor;

The story on the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee (July 15 issue) for POET needs to be put in perspective.

First, the DOE did not guarantee these loans, we, as taxpayers will be essentially forced to cough-up $105 million if POET does not repay.

In Brazil, touted as the ultimate ethanol nation, they are scaling back the mandate from 25 percent to 15 percent because it costs too much. They are stepping up oil production because it provides more energy at a lower cost. This, in a country that can produce ethanol much cheaper with sugar cane than we can with anything grown here. Brazil also has but a tiny fraction of the vehicles we do relative to ethanol capacity.

No mention is made concerning cellulosic ethanol and soil degradation due to removal of the fodder. No mention is made of the cost to bring in more fertilizer to compensate for lost fertility.

No mention is made of the erosion caused by lost residue cover.

While the government subsidizes practices to reduce erosion, now it’s subsidizing increasing it.

With fertilizer prices going up to match the devaluation of the dollar by the Fed, the government sees fit to increase demand for fertilizer.

We should exit the ethanol business now to cut lost future investments.

Those who stand to lose from that exit should be given all the property of the politicians who promoted this nonsense.

When oil prices rise to the point ethanol, or any other energy source, shows promise, investors will eagerly enter the business by their own choice.

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