The situation is not likely to get any better
any time soon, as cutting the farm subsidies and tariffs on sugar
cane-based ethanol imports that have fueled the ethanol craze seems to
be yet another third rail of U.S. politics.
proponents hope the reliance on food crops to produce biofuels is
temporary, and they point to a future where non-food biomass (such as
corn stalks and grasses) is used to produce so-called cellulosic
But in addition to the fact that the
technology for producing cellulosic ethanol on a cost-effective basis
is nowhere near ready for prime time, the greenhouse gas footprint of
cellulosic ethanol likely will be far worse than that of corn-based
It’s one thing to transport relatively
compact corn kernels to be processed into ethanol; it’s quite another
to transport bulky biomass. The bulk problem would require a multitude
of cellulosic ethanol plants to be built around the country — a project
that could be quite costly and difficult to locate given the phenomenon
of NIMBY-ism and the problem of plant emissions making it more
difficult for states to comply with federal air quality standards.
that don’t meet those standards don’t get their much-needed federal
highway funds. Food riots are only the tip of the green iceberg. We
might also expect energy riots to erupt one day.
world has an ever-growing population that needs more and more energy,
but the greens are doing everything they can to constrict the world’s
As the Sierra Club campaigns
to shut down our coal-fired electricity capabilities, the Natural
Resources Defense Council campaigns to prevent nuclear power from
taking its place. The demise of coal-fired power and the blockage of
increased nuclear power will increase the demand for supply constraints
on, and the prices for, natural gas.
again, environmental advocacy group Earth First perhaps is helping to
alleviate the looming natural gas crisis by campaigning against power
plants that use the fuel. In a recent campaign against a South Florida
power plant, an Earth First campaigner stated that the environment
ought not be threatened "so that people can fuel their greedy energy
desires." "Just say 'no' to electricity," seems to be the bottom line
Even wind power is becoming
more and more politically incorrect. Environmentalist-friendly Maryland
Gov. Martin O’Malley this week announced that wind farms will not be
allowed on state lands because they are eyesores.
eco-activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s long-standing opposition to a wind
farm off the coast of his family’s Hyannis Port, Mass., compound as
well as environmentalist concerns that wind farms kill wild birds, it
seems that the future of wind power is uncertain.
environmentalist effort to tie our energy policy knots already is
producing results. The availability of electricity in the Washington,
D.C., area is so fragile that Maryland officials already are planning
for summertime rolling blackouts starting in 2011.
California, officials are so concerned that a recent state legislative
proposal would have provided local utilities the power to control
thermostats in new homes and businesses. Although this effort failed,
it’s not that hard to imagine that, one day, all homes will have their
electrical use controlled by local utilities — no doubt run by your
local green energy czars.
Millions in the
developing world have died and continue to do so from the greens’
campaign against pesticides such as DDT. Nothing less should be
expected from their new campaign that threatens global food and energy