Ethanol Madness

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After reading Ethanol Madness in The Economics of Public Issues (Miller, Benjamin, & North), most of America is not benefiting from the production of ethanol. The only ones benefiting from ethanol requirements are ethanol producers, farmers, Brazilian farmers and politicians. Congress and the United Sates government are both benefiting from the ethanol requirements and the import tariff on ethanol.

In the chapter I learned that ethanol is not as renewable as it seems. It is an alternative to biofuel, and corn can be grown and grown again, but what about all the fossil fuels that are used to produce the ethanol? The only way it could be used as an alternative to nonrenewable resources is if we find a way to produce it without using fossil fuels. In addition it is not as efficient. We would have to use twenty five percent more ethanol to be equal the amount of energy gasoline produces costing the consuming to buy more, and spend more money. I also don’t believe it will make us less dependent on imports from foreign countries. In chapter 2, it notes that we only get three percent of our gasoline usage from the Persian Gulf. Three percent of our gasoline usage would be equivalent to fifty percent of our total farmland. Where would we farm the other ninety-seven percent of our gasoline usage that we get from Mexico and Canada? We would have to import it from Brazil making us dependent on them for our ethanol! Ethanol fuel producers are only telling the members of congress the benefits of ethanol, rather than the whole story. Farmers are going to give their votes to members of congress because they are promoting the use of ethanol. Producing ethanol will give farmers more money because more corn is going to be needed to grow to produce ethanol. In return, ethanol producers are going to make more money because the demand in ethanol is going to grow. Ethanol producers make more money, members of Congress receive votes, and farmers make more money.

The consumer of...
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