"I'm worried that if we don't use the oil reserves, the economic recovery will stall,"
Beyond that there are environmental impacts. Prices for corn and the land used to produce corn have gone up. Next year, one third of all the corn grown in the U.S. is projected to go to ethanol production. Economic effects of the competition for corn will soon be felt in the price of food, given the large amounts of corn that is used to feed humans directly in corn products and as feed for pork, beef and poultry stock.
Corn prices, projected to hit record highs this coming year, have farmers tilling their land to the edges and taking their land out of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The worry here is that when a farmer converts grasslands to corn lands there will be a loss of the wetlands and watery potholes in the grasslands. Loss of the wetlands and potholes would damage the upper Midwest “duck factory.” Since the start of CRP in 1985 the habitat improvements have meant an increase of 2.2 million ducks.
People involved in protecting the health of our fisheries are concerned about the impacts of ethanol production on the water environment. One gallon of ethanol requires 1,700 gallons of water to produce when you add up water use in the corn field and at the factory. The water either comes from surface water withdrawals or is pumped out of the groundwater aquifers that supply the surface waters. Either way rivers lose reliable flows.
John Rowe, CEO of Chicago-based Exelon, said that in trying to boost "clean" energy -- wind, solar, nuclear and natural gas -- Congress and the states have enacted or proposed bills that would burden consumers, cripple markets and increase federal debt but do little to clean up the air.
In a speech to the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, Mr. Rowe said his message to lawmakers is simple: "I'm asking that Congress do nothing."
Mr. Rowe said utilities across the country are turning to "cheap" natural gas to generate electricity and do not need a clean energy standard proposed by President Obama.
We are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. We have abundant oil shale fields accessed with cutting-edge technology. North Dakota is shipping out oil--look at North Dakota's unemployment rates. Canada has oil sands we could tap and pipe to the U.S. We need the jobs and energy HERE. And the price relief.
More. The American Thinker: (Iowa, take note)
P.S. NY Times. NRO: The New Face of Liberal HypocrisyThe to our energy problem is for the Democrats to abandon their anti-US oil agenda and to simply allow Americans to Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less. US oil is always less than OPEC oil. Americans would pay an estimated $24 Billion less at the pump annually if US oil replaced foreign oil imports.Economic deficits are caused by taxpayer-supported energy schemes to replace oil, but these chimeras can never do so. Ethanol is the worst scheme. Taxpayers subsidize ethanol, starting with a $0.45 per gallon , amounting to $6 Billion annually. Taxpayer funded grants and studies make ethanol much more expensive to taxpayers.Using ethanol in a vehicle emits more total carbon dioxide into the air than using gasoline. Last year, an additional 4 million tons of carbon dioxide went into the air because ethanol was used instead of gasoline.Last year, ethanol production was only 5% of total US oil demand. It is impossible for ethanol to ever replace imported oil.David Pimentel, Cornell University professor emeritus, states that corn requires 29% more energy than the fuel produces, switchgrass requires 45% more energy than the fuel produces, and wood biomass requires 57% more energy than the fuel produces. In other words, Professor Pimentel finds that the biofuel industry wastes more energy than it produces.A gallon of ethanol contains only 61% of the energy of a gallon of gasoline. No wonder it gets such poor mileage. With ethanol, engines run hotter and rubber is eaten away. An ethanol flame is almost invisible and requires entirely different fire-fighting techniques than gasoline. Transportation, logistics and safety issues require a separate infrastructure to be built for ethanol than for gasoline.