The push to produce corn-based ethanol has fallen short of clean energy expectations according to a new study that says that these ethanol emissions are causing more environmental damage than first promised.
For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to reduce the amount of ethanol required to be added to the gasoline supply, But the ethanol industry is fighting hard against that effort.
Back in 2007 then President George W. Bush signed a law requiring oil companies to add billions of gallons of ethanol to their gasoline each year. The goal was to make our nation “stronger, cleaner, and more secure.” Just six years later, new reports have found that the ethanol era has been far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised, and allegedly much worse than the government has admitted.
In our state, energy officials have recognized the environmental consequences of this ethanol. But the sad reality is that corn still supplies the overwhelming majority of ethanol in the U.S.
"West Virginia no longer sells E85 commercially, and we are just now starting to see more compressed natural gas, propane and electric vehicles. So all of these alternative fuels have environmental pros and cons, as well a differing costs." said Kelly Bragg, Energy Development Specialist with the West Virginia Department of Energy.
In recent years oil companies, environmental groups and food companies have started to push the government to reconsider the entire ethanol program.