Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

December 4, 2013

THEIR VIEW: Ethanol impact underscores need for study, real answers

Powering our homes and driving our automobiles has come at great cost to the environment. The consequences of drilling for oil and natural gas and mining for coal are dire. The emissions from burning these fuels even worse.

So scientists and activists have pushed for green energy answers, ways to reduce our impact on the planet. The government has obliged, signing into law new regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and curtailing climate change.

Noble efforts for an undeniably important cause.

But somewhere in the push for green energy, someone forgot to ask a very important question: Are these green energies really green?

A recent investigation by The Associated Press into the impact of the ethanol power push suggests the answer is a surprising “no.”

According to the AP report, 5 million acres of land set aside for conservation have been wiped out as farmers plant corn to satisfy ethanol requirements oil companies are mandated to meet. Along the way, important prairie habitats have been destroyed and water supplies have been contaminated.

In Indiana alone, more than 28,000 acres of conservation land have been lost as farmers planted 750,000 more acres of corn than they did before the ethanol mandate was passed in 2007.

The cost to the environment has been so extreme many scientists have rejected ethanol as a legitimate solution to our energy needs.

Ethanol supporters, however, say there are significant benefits. Economically, ethanol has been a boon for the farming industry. It’s also saving consumers money at the gas pump. And ethanol does burn cleaner than fossil fuels.

What ultimately should be taken from the AP investigation is that careful study of environmental policies is paramount to making a positive impact for the planet. While it might be difficult to foresee certain consequences, outside-the-box thinking is necessary when evaluating the breadth of a policy and its viability.

We all want to protect the environment, and we should continue to pursue research into alternative energy sources. But we’ll need all the facts to ensure we’re not destroying the planet to do so.

— The Herald Bulletin, Anderson

THE ISSUE More land being used to plant corn to satisfy mandated ethanol requirements. THEIR VIEW We need the facts to ensure we're not destroying our planet for latest green energy.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • HAMILTON: Why incumbents keep getting reelected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 24, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Write clear rules for vanity plate licenses We see vanity license plates regularly. Some are funny or thought-provoking. Others are just plain puzzling.One specialty plate backing autism research and support carries the heartfelt message “4MYSON.” Others are more prosaic, as in COLTFANZ.It’s c

    July 24, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Four-legged family I have three pets. First, Paisley, a long-haired cream and tortoise Ragdoll cat. She’s the aristocracy in our group, compared to the rest of us, who are all blue collar folks. Her movements are slow and stately and her mien is gracious. She is by far

    July 24, 2014

  • Holly Sklar SKLAR: Small businesses want minimum wage increase If Congress actually listened to small business owners, the minimum wage would be going up. Instead, July 24 will mark five years without an increase since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009.Small business livelihoods depend on

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KITCHELL: Reaction times change, but motorists don't Earlier this year, I came home one afternoon to find the worst accident on North Street I can ever recall.A bevy of police cars and four flatbed trucks were removing the pawns in an accident that damaged four vehicles. It was a bit unusual considerin

    July 23, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Keeping insects under control curbs disease State health officials said last week mosquitoes in two northern Indiana counties tested positive for the West Nile virus, The Associated Press reported.The state health department said mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties were confirmed to have

    July 23, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana's ethics laws in need of reform The Indiana State Ethics Commission’s recent approval of an agreement between the state inspector general and Tony Bennett settles the charges against the former state superintendent of schools.But the settlement raises more concerns about the loopho

    July 22, 2014

  • MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 22, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The sheer dumbness of an enormous dome There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 22, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.The report, issued by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on T

    July 21, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.