Ethanol Not Viable Alternative to Gasoline

Published June 20, 2007

Dear Editor:

“Ethanol Producers Expect Consolidation” (June 18) illustrates just a few of the problems with large-scale ethanol production. A poor harvest can send prices soaring with little warning. Even after a bountiful harvest, prices still exceed those of gasoline.

Even if ethanol and gasoline were cost-competitive per gallon, ethanol provides only 70 percent of the miles per gallon of gasoline. Ethanol cannot be transported as efficiently as gasoline. Food prices are rising as ethanol takes a larger and larger share of corn production and farm land. In many ways ethanol is more polluting than gasoline.

Somebody please remind me, why again are politicians rushing to subsidize and impose mandates for ethanol?

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute.