Biofuel or Biofraud?

From the NYTimes, the difference in greenhouse gas emissions from cars burning gasoline-only fuel and fuels made from various forms of ethanol:

  • Corn ethanol: 0-3 percent greenhouse gas emission reduction.
  • Sugar cane ethanol: 50-70 percent reduction.
  • Cellulosic ethanol: 90-plus percent.

But wait, there’s more:

Which form of ethanol production is the United States government (and its taxpayers) subsidizing? Corn, of course.

Which form of ethanol production does the United States government levy a 53-cents-a-gallon import tariff on? Sugar cane, naturally.

And which form of ethanol production is under-funded, under-researched, and furthest from commercial production? The cleanest choice, obviously.

Do you see a pattern here?

An additional snippet from the comments at the NYTimes article:

Estimated ethanol yields by the gallon for different plants per acre of land:

  • Corn Grain = 354 gallons per acre
  • Sugar Cane = 662 gallons per acre
  • Switch Grass = 1150 gallons per acre
  • Hemp = 1000 gallons per acre