The August 27 blog post "Corny Capitalism" on the American Spectator website begs the question: When did The American Spectator stop fact checking? In fact, with the outdated information used in this story, one has to wonder how long it sat on the shelf waiting for a slow, sleepy week in summer to be dusted off and electronically published. And what is Matt Purple and The American Spectator's answer to ending this country's dangerous – both in terms of human life as well as the environment – addiction to foreign oil? It would appear that they would prefer to continue the status quo of sending billions and billions of dollars to hostile countries like Iraq and Venezuela. Why create American jobs, why spare the lives of our armed forces, why give our children a cleaner environment when we can continue funding dictators? Is that really your alternative to a proven and innovative green biofuel? Today Americans are using over 170 billion gallons annually of transportation fuels. Millions of Americans are out of jobs and our Gulf states are suffering the environmental and economic effects of the worst oil spill in our history. Is The American Spectator so determined to be the voice of Big Oil that it wants to pick a fight over 12.5 billion gallons of biodegradable ethanol which is supporting 400,000 American jobs across the economy? Most of the jobs are in small rural communities that have been hit hard by the economic slowdown and where new jobs are especially challenging to create. What consolation would you offer these employees who believe in their product and its patriotic, positive green mission? Perhaps the author should have read the decision and pursuant media coverage a bit better. An initial decision from the EPA is expected in September, not November. His allegations of wild inefficiency and corn taking over a fifth the United States land mass show a deep East Coast elitist misunderstanding of agriculture and its constant innovation. The United States has more than enough corn for food, feed and fuel. In fact, last year's record breaking crop of 13.2 billion bushels required seven million fewer acres than the previous record crop of 13 billion bushels in 2007 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Purple also fails to mention that one third of every bushel used to create ethanol is returned the market as a high protein livestock feed product knows as dried distillers grain. (DDG) The demand for DDG is growing domestically and internationally. Its use is expanding beyond traditional livestock – cattle, chickens, hogs – to include sheep, goats and farm-raised catfish. What's inefficient about an industry that has reduced its water requirements by 26% percent with many biorefineries requiring less than three gallons of water to produce both ethanol and DDG? Water use needs to be addressed in context. For example, it takes 40 gallons of water to produce one cup of coffee. Four gallons for a pound of hamburger. 300 million gallons to produce just one day's worth of newspapers across this country...and a heck of a lot more to extract oil from tar sands. [why don't we focus on how much water it takes to produce other kinds of energy – 97 gallons to produce one gallon of gasoline - Ethanol and Water - truth about ethanol and water myths]
- Some other USGS statistics that might be of interest and add perspective:
- It takes 1,500 gallons of water to produce a barrel of beer
- It takes 1,851 gallons of water to refine a barrel of crude oil
- It takes 62,600 gallons of water to process a ton of cane sugar to make processed sugar.
- It takes 62,600 gallons to make a ton of steel.
- It takes 2,075 gallons of water to make four tires. (To see more water trivia and facts, follow this link: http://ct.water.usgs.gov/education/trivia.htm)