Ethanol gets skewered by recent CBO assessment

By Tom Philpott
Grist

In its calm and measured way, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just delivered a blistering assessment of the environmental value of corn-based ethanol.

The CBO had been charged by Congress to calculate just what the public is getting for its investment in ethanol production: specifically, the $0.45/gallon tax credit that gasoline blenders get for mixing ethanol into the fuel supply. In 2009, 10.8 billion gallons of corn ethanol got used in such a manner, costing the federal Treasury $5.16 billion in reduced tax revenue.

What did we get for that fat wad of cash, in environmental terms? The question is critical, because that long-entrenched tax break is set to expire later this year — and the ethanol industry is scrambling to extend it, with the full support of the Obama administration, Associated Press reports.

As the CBO report [PDF] makes clear, the environmental case for the tax break is bankrupt. The reports runs 28 pages, but I can boil it down to two points.

Read full post Gristan not be justified.

9 responses to “Ethanol gets skewered by recent CBO assessment

  1. Ethanol is a lose/lose/lose. See http://journal.livingfood.us and search Ethanol for the Do not drive while guzzling alcohol” article. There are no environmental benefits–only losses== water and waste fed to cattle and cows is bad news. No air pollution benefits.

  2. Ehtanol wastes fed to cows increase human pathogens and viruses in the gut and milk.

  3. I wish I could tell you how much I despise ethanol and everything else like it: other over-technical, bureaucratically and massively-imposed ‘solutions’. But if you can imagine a small family dairy farm, that was thrifty and hardworking and honest, and a happy young family with dreams galore and living and being in a good neighborhood with others like that too, and then have all that smashed, and multiply that times oh, say–100,000–you get the idea….

    It’s not surprising that the ocean is being taken over by jellyfish, that’s about all there is on land, anymore either. Jellyfish who just do as they’re told…and are willing to watch other people and other lives being ruined and die.

  4. I wrote a piece on biofuels that went round the world (England, Ireland and NZ posted it )….

    GM Biofuels: Another Planned Disaster

  5. Corn ethanol has always been a corporate welfare program, what would be ironic is if the tax credit was to expire and with the mandates in force South American ethanol would fill the bill and then you’d hear the corn ethanol lobbyists crying to their congressmen.

  6. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Ethanol gets skewered by recent CBO assessment « Food Freedom

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