[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Stupidity: Re: Get ready for coal-fired ethanol plants

Enviro-Mich message from "Lowell Prag" <lprag@mail.msen.com>

Mark Richardson said:

... see below ...

Hello Mark,

The issue on whether or not there is a net energy savings in using corn to
produce ethanol for fuel, has been debated for many years and there is
much data available. The answer is yes and no, depending upon which study
you read.

To me, the whole issue is stupid.

There is enough fuel contained in all of our waste organic bio-mass in
this country which can be extracted as methane (it's natural gas: the same
as you use in a stove) and it can easily be used to power both cars and
trucks without resorting to using our farm lands to produce fuel.

In Europe, anaerobic digesters to produce methane from waste organic
bio-mass, are widely used.

The issue in the USA, is why we have not widely employed this proven
technology which could while producing fuel, rid us of most of our land
fills and incinerators, resolve the manure problems with cafos, etc., and
solve all of the other problems created by our present methods of dealing
with our other organic wastes.


Lowell Prag

Mark Richardson said:

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Mark Richardson"
> <Mark.Richardson@macombcountymi.gov>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I'm asking myself these questions:
> 1) Is there likely to be any net energy savings from using ethanol for a
> percentage of transportation fuel, given the energy expended in mining and
> transporting coal, and growing and transporting corn and other feedstocks?
> 2) Is there likely to be any net environmental improvement from using
> ethanol, given the tradeoffs between reductions in pollution from vehicles
> and increased pollution from ethanol plants and further up the fuel
> manufacturing chain?
> 3)  Is there likely to be any net economic benefit from using ethanol,
> given the cost of manufacturing ethanol and the increase in cost of coal
> resulting from increased demand due to a host of factors?
> I'm suspecting the only real benefit of using ethanol is decreasing our
> dependance on foreign oil, but maybe even that is open to question.
>>>> "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com> 03/01/06 6:02 PM >>>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> OK Michigan....courtesy of the BUSH EPA....get ready for
> a spate of coal-fired ethanol plants.  EPA is proposing to
> relax Clean Air Act new source review rules for fuel-ethanol
> plants by declaring the major stationary source level for
> such plants to be 250 tons per year rather than the current
> 100 tons per year.
> This will encourage large, but poorly controlled coal-fired ethanol plants
> in the midwest, including Michigan.   Under the proposed EPA
> rules, ethanol plants emitting less than 250 tons of any criteria
> pollutant will no longer have to ensure that facilities are controlled
> with best available control technology and to evaluate air quality
> impacts around the plants.
> This is another example of big time agriculture trying to extend influence
> to allow high impact facilities that are also subsidized with taxpayer
> dollars.

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"