Can Ethanol Cut Foreign Oil Imports?
by Ken Silverstein (Forbes) …By most standards, the hope that is such first-generation fuel additives are supplanted by next-generation ones, or those produced from cellulose. Worth it?
Such fibers are abundant and could supply 130 million gallons a year of ethanol that would replace gasoline, although it is still expensive when compared to corn-based ethanol and some early trials have ended in disappointment. The goal of those in the business of making such a fuel additive real is to increase scale and bring down the cost to about $2 a gallon — a tough proposition in current market conditions.
…Is the mandate good public policy? Advocates of it say that it is. That is, ethanol-blended gasoline is reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. Moreover those advanced cellulosic ethanol blends will get commercialized. Oil giant BP, meantime, says that those bio-fuels could provide up to 23 percent of the global demand for transportation fuels by 2030.
“The more ethanol we produce, the less of our dollars will go overseas,” says Arnold Klann, chief executive of BlueFire Ethanol in Irvine, Calif. “Energy security is a big issue and long term, ethanol will play an important role.” READ MORE