Letter to the Editor: Ethanol isn’t a fuel solution; we need fossil fuels to remain independent | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the Editor: Ethanol isn’t a fuel solution; we need fossil fuels to remain independent

Ken Gansmann

The first day of his presidency, Joe Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline, banned oil development and fracking on federal lands and asked financial institutions to invest more in the development green energy and stop financial support of fossil fuel exploration and production. We are now paying much higher prices for our fuel to move goods and ourselves because of these misguided policies.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost or mothballed inefficient fossil fuel refineries here in the U.S. Our refineries produce much cleaner fuels than other countries. We are now asking those other country refineries to help us make up the supply to meet our current fuel needs. Remember 1973 & 1979? How does this make sense?

When demand is lower than supply, prices go down. When demand is higher than supply, prices go up. Do you remember our toilet paper supply issues in 2020 or baby formula now?

Facts are stubborn things. Here are just a few about ethanol vs. fossil fuels based upon 2020 government statistics:

The U.S farmers produced 14.62 billion bushels corn which would be a wonderful product to feed developing countries. About 6 billion bushels (41%) are used to produce ethanol as a substitute fuel for gasoline.

In 2020, the cost to produce ethanol was $1.95/gallon. It takes 1 bushel of corn to produce 2.55 gallons of gasoline. The cost to produce gasoline from crude oil was $0.95 per gallon.

British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a measurement of energy. One gallon of ethanol has about 65,000 BTU per gallon. Regular gasoline has about 115,000 BTU per gallon. Diesel fuel has about 150,000 BTU per gallon. Why are we using ethanol as a fuel when it (1) costs more per gallon to produce, (2) could be better used to provide food for people in developing countries and (3) provides significantly less energy per gallon to move our goods and selves?

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