Sen. Coal Says Corn-based Ethanol Overrated


The AP reports on a summer meeting of governors (think League of Villains) at which our duly elected officials catch up with the bandwagon that corn-based ethanol is a bad idea whose time has come—and hopefully is going, going, gone.

Here's a snapshot of reactions to the recognition that critics such as reason science correspondent Ronald Bailey have been right all along in noting that corn-based ethanol mandates distort markets, deliver questionable environmental benefits, and jack the price of food:

"I truly do not believe that a food-based product should be used for energy," said Gov. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, where almost all energy needs are met by coal. "It should be used for human consumption."

Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina called the EPA requirement "a totally bogus government mandate" at Sunday's energy forum.

The current buzz is cellulosic ethanol, or ethanol made from plant matter. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm pitched the idea Sunday of using more wood products because of the large number of forests in her state.

Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania says his state "could be to cellulosic ethanol what Iowa was to corn-based ethanol." A new state law will require a minimum of a billion gallons of fuel annually pumped in Pennsylvania come from renewable fuels.

More here. And before you get all excited about cellulosic ethanol, read this.