In this Strib exclusive, Energy reporter Dave Shaffer reveals how the ethanol industry is enjoying a huge resurgence after a terrible 2012. The story has gotten a lot of attention online and has attracted quite an anti-ethanol backlash. Here's a sampling:
-- Ethanol in gas, it's what happens when politicians and attorneys get their hands on the wallets of the taxpayers.
-- It's amazing that a product that lowers gas mileage, provides less energy than it takes to produce, ruins fuel systems of old vehicles, increases food prices, adds new kinds of pollution to the air, depletes ground water and requires massive government subsidies for success is mandated in our gasoline. It's nothing but agricultural welfare.
-- Advocates rarely talk about the impact water table. We seem very caviler about our future water supply.
But some ethanol defenders responded:
-- A multitude of peer-reviewed scientific papers indicate there is a net energy gain from ethanol production with corn. Some papers disagree, but most of these papers did not fully consider the direct use of ethanol AND key ethanol by-products.
-- What oil company do you critics work for? Your arguments have been proven untrue and without a 10% blend we will have air pollution at illegal and unacceptable levels.
-- Excellent, glad to hear they are doing good. They have had a couple of lean years. And we need this home grown fuel. Keep up the good work!