New report shows ethanol lowers emissions, better for environment
A new report by the Clean Fuels Development Coalition shows that ethanol is far better for the environment than gasoline and that corn ethanol can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 20 percent.
The report, "Environmental Impacts of Ethanol Production," cites a U.S. Department of Energy study that found significant gains in efficiency in ethanol production. Between 2001 and 2006, ethanol production reduced its water consumption by 26.6 percent, reduced electricity demand by 15.7 percent, and reduced total energy use by 21.8 percent.
While the ethanol industry has been in place for about 35 years, more than half of the ethanol plants that exist today are less than four years old, which makes them more efficient and better for the environment than petroleum refineries. According to the report, "As the world's oil reserves are tapped, oil becomes not only harder to find, but its extraction and processing come with a higher environmental and economic cost."
Some critics funded by the food and oil industries have said ethanol increases GHG emissions by indirectly causing deforestation in other parts of the world. But one study cited in the report found that from 2000-2005, only one percent of deforestation in the Amazon was caused by large-scale commercial agriculture. Other studies note that deforestation has been significantly and steadily reduced during the past seven years even as U.S. ethanol production has increased.
Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, said the environmental benefits of ethanol make it a superior alternative to gasoline.
"Ethanol is getting more efficient, more economical and more environmentally friendly to produce," Sneller said. "Oil will continue to become more expensive and wreak more environmental damage while taking an economic toll on the U.S."
A full copy of the report is available at the Nebraska Ethanol Board website. Request a hard copy of the report by contacting the Nebraska Ethanol Board.
Established in 1971, the Ethanol Board assists ethanol producers with programs and strategies for marketing ethanol and related co-products. The Board supports organizations and policies that advocate the increased use of ethanol fuels--and administers public information, education and ethanol research projects. The Board also assists companies and organizations in the development of ethanol production facilities in Nebraska. For more information, please visit www.ne-ethanol.org.