• December 21, 2014

Government’s obsession with ethanol a national security issue

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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 4:30 am

To the Editor:

The government seeks to replace oil with biofuel. Yet, ethanol production peaked in 2011 and has been declining since.

At ethanol’s peak in 2011, ethanol production was 13,948 million gallons, or 332 million barrels. Oil demand that same year was 5,326 million barrels.

Thus, ethanol was 6 percent of total oil demand. It is impossible for the government to replace oil with ethanol.

The government seeks to lower the emissions of carbon dioxide. Yet, using ethanol emits more carbon dioxide into the air than using gasoline. A gallon of ethanol contains 12.57 pounds of carbon dioxide and 77,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) of energy. A gallon of gasoline contains 19.64 pounds of carbon dioxide and 124,238 BTUs of energy.

For every 10,000 BTUs of energy used, ethanol emits 1.63 pounds of carbon dioxide and gasoline emits 1.58 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Therefore, using ethanol emits more carbon dioxide into the air than using gasoline.

The government does not want to lower carbon dioxide emissions by eliminating ethanol.

Most Republican politicians (including my own Congressman Roger Williams) are for all types of energy — which includes ethanol. Since both Republicans and Democrats either tolerate or encourage the continued production of ethanol, no thought whatsoever is being given to foreign oil imports, an annual money drain of over $300 billion.

Because of ethanol, there is no urgency to expedite the elimination of foreign oil imports. Yet, the United States is twice as vulnerable to foreign oil today as it was in 1973 at the time of the Arab Oil Embargo when foreign imports were only 26 percent of oil demand.

Vulnerability of the USA to foreign nations should be a national security issue.

Seldon B. Graham Jr.

Retired U.S. Army colonel

Austin

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