LET Ethanol won't meet demand

A recent article in the P-B Digest section reported that a $64 million ethanol plant planned for Minnesota will be getting built because of tax breaks under the JOBZ program. The plant is expected to produce 50 million gallons of ethanol from 17.4 million bushels of local corn each year.

Those sound like big numbers, but what do they really mean?

According to a USA Today news article, Americans use 174 million gallons of gasoline per day just for their cars. We would need 261 million gallons of ethanol per day to run those cars. This much daily ethanol production would require 260 million acres of corn or about 200 million more acres of corn than were harvested in all of 2000. Additionally, it would take 13 million tons more fertilizer to grow that much corn.

Ethanol may be a good, renewable fuel that can be used in addition to gasoline in some regional areas, but it won't make a dent in this country's energy requirements.

Jeff; Morgan



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