Nuclear Power is the most sustainable clean energy source. That must be acknowledged every time someone talks about green energy. That said, let’s look at our fuel and energy in the United States right now and brainstorm some solutions for the looming problems ahead.
Corn is utilized to create ethanol to blend in with our gas in the E85 variety that is accepted by many vehicles. In 2005, Congress told petroleum processing plants to add ethanol to their gas. Most of it comes from corn. This Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a program run by the EPA collaborating with the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture.
Considering our recent inflation and energy crises, Congress should change RFS or end the program. Allowing bureaucrats in the administrative state at agencies like the EPA or Pete Buttigieg in Transportation to control our energy is foolish.
Mario Loyola in his Atlantic article “Stop the Ethanol Madness” makes the case that RFS is uneconomic and annihilating the climate. He is a liberal environmentalist who is attacking the very system people like him promoted as alternative fuels just 6 years ago. The present corn-ethanol program is a glaring disappointment. He indicates that it is a conspiracy of the uni-party of paid-off Democrats and Republicans in a cabal working together to keep it alive when they should realize it is a failure.
Corn-based Ethanol has about 33% less energy than gasoline, thus flex-fuel vehicles on E85 get around 27% fewer miles per gallon. Corn ethanol has an EROI of 1.5 compared to gasoline’s EROI of 11. The Energy ROI is the return on investment from energy delivered, the energy yield divided by the energy input. This means that it is a waste of energy to drive a corn-fed car. Clean diesel would be better than ethanol.
Like electric cars that are really powered by coal and natural gas, renewable fuels rely upon petroleum products. Large equipment is used to plant, harvest, and deliver corn ethanol. The farm haulers, corn-pickers, and trucks all use gasoline. This is true of all biofuels, they need non-renewable energy sources, such as oil and natural gas, for the rest of the supply chain.
Before the additional spikes in gas prices because of the battle in Ukraine, inflation was a problem. Now it is an opportunity for Congress to end the RFS. In fact, it is necessary for the US to change its approach to energy and agriculture. But do not hold your breath, Uncle Joe will do nothing except make it worse.
This spring, Ukrainian farms will not produce the needed food that many rely on. American farms throughout the Midwest can beef up its portion of raising food as opposed to fuel and this would boost the economy and make Sleepy Joe a hero of the middle class. If only he was in charge of his own government instead of the pesky Democrat cranks who want to tank the economy.