Monday, April 14, 2008

Bashing Ethanol

The Oakland Tribune runs what appears be a nice puff piece on a local biofuel company called Blue Sky. However, the article quickly turns from a small business feature into an accross-the-board indictment of ethanol!

The company has an interesting story-- small business, locally owned, that converts used cooking oil from local restaurants, the Oakland Coliseum, and UC Berkeley into biodiesel.
A brief assessment of the market niche provides a segue into a discusion of ethanol that includes a litany of facts and projections that were repeatedly ignored during the great run to ethanol over the last few years, but that are now hot stuff for the media:
  • Ethanol is diverting corn from food production and drving up the cost of corn.

  • Ethanol could actually increase global warming because the greenhouse gases released in its production and transportation are so signficant.

  • Ethanol can't be shipped by pipeline because of its chemical properties, so it relies on diesel trucks to move it around...
All the best laid plans....