Archived Story

AP story biased against ethanol

Published 9:27am Friday, November 15, 2013

Earlier this week an AP story published nationally in many media organizations, “The secret, dirty cost of Obama’s green power push,” later retitled as “The secret environmental cost of U.S. ethanol policy.” It was rife with errors about ethanol’s impact on the environment.

While the article was clearly biased against an industry that is creating jobs and prosperity throughout this country, not to mention oil alternatives, it did get one thing right: “The environmental consequences of drilling for oil and natural gas are well documented and severe.” In our quest for cleaner energy sources, the one thing we know for sure is that burning fossil fuels is having a dangerous impact on our environment. The good news is that we have a choice. We can continue to use oil, or we can choose cleaner alternatives, like ethanol. Diversifying our fuel sources to include renewable fuel — both traditional, and advanced — will ensure a cleaner, healthier future for all of us.

 

Gary Pestorius
Albert Lea

  1. Patrick Cunningham

    •The economic impact of soil erosion in the United States costs the nation about $37.6 billion each year in productivity losses. Damage from soil erosion worldwide is estimated to be $400 billion per year.

    Erosion is one of those problems that nickels and dimes you to death: One rainstorm can wash away 1 mm (.04 inches) of dirt. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider a hectare (2.5 acres), it would take 13 tons of topsoil — or 20 years if left to natural processes — to replace that loss.

    There is little incentive for farmers to stop erosion,and part of the blame is on Washington. Enforcement is needed more than ever because high crop prices provide a strong incentive for farmers to plant as much ground as possible and to take fewer protective measures like grass buffer strips. While wealthy landowners receive taxpayer money the rest of us, and the environment, pay the price.

    US farmland is being decimated. Ethanol production simply speeds the process.

    According to the report, $51 billion is spent on boosting all-out production in farm states. Meanwhile, 97% of soil loss could be prevented with simple conservation measures. Effective practices include placing strips of grass or trees near the edge of crop fields, and creating grass waterways to both prevent gullies from forming and filter out pollutants. It’s time to stop destroying this land, and start embracing conservation practices.