Ethanol skepticism reaches mainstream media

Since the State of the Union speech proposed an energy policy high on ethanol, the mainstream media has started to cover the flaws and risks of corn-based ethanol.
In the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago SunTimes, and Albany Times Union, to take an anecdotal sample, news analysis and op-ed pieces notice that:
* even if the entire US corn harvest were dedicated to ethanol production, it would replace only 20% of current gasoline use
* ethanol production doesn’t save much, if any fossil fuel. Pessimistic estimates say that corn ethanol production is net negative; it takes more energy to produce then you get in return, while optimistic estimates are only about 1.3-1, compared to 10:1 for oil.
* corn for energy cuts into the amount available for corn flakes and pig feed.
Hopefully the conflict between food and fuel will cause the ethanol fad to flare out. Once the cost of food raw material and cattle feed cuts heavily enough into the earnings of food producers, there will be a powerful industrial lobby counterposed against the corn processors who are currently buying US policy.

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