Ethanol

Climate & Energy

Once subsidies and tariffs are removed, watch out

So, Bush wants massive new ethanol subsidies. He wants 35 billion gallons of "renewable and alternative fuels" — the vast bulk of which will be corn ethanol — online by 2017. Right now, there’s basically no opposition to this push. …

Climate & Energy

Let’s wonk it out

DR: On our site there are many people highly skeptical about biofuels. For lots of reasons: corn ethanol barely breaks even on energy balance. It’s an environmental nightmare, with nitrogen fertilizers in the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. …

Fill 'Er Up: On biofuels

What we’ve learned from the biofuels series

Future or folly? Photo: iStockphoto After spending much of the last several months thinking about the biofuels boom and its implications in preparation for this special series, we’ve come to a few conclusions. Like other energy sources, biofuels have significant …

Fill 'Er Up: On biofuels

An interview with Mary Beth Stanek, General Motors energy director

Trucks with a green hue? GM is in heaven. What a difference three bucks a gallon makes. In the past year, General Motors has rallied state and federal support to get more E85 (an 85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline …

Fill 'Er Up: On biofuels

What Brazil can teach the U.S. about energy and ethanol

In 2006, Brazil officially achieved “energy independence” — that is, its oil exports came into line with imports and cancelled them out. No longer beholden to foreign suppliers for its energy needs, the nation theoretically has no stake in costly …

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As its neighbors back biofuels, Central America gears up for business

Driving down either of El Salvador’s two principal highways, you’re almost sure to end up braking behind a pickup truck that’s jammed with people standing shoulder to shoulder. Occasionally these rural taxis are new vehicles, but most are rickety, rusted, …

Fill 'Er Up: On biofuels

It’s time for a real ‘food vs. fuel’ debate

Can U.S. farmers keep filling the nation’s bellies as they scramble to fuel its cars? Given its evident gravity, the question has drawn remarkably little debate. Like it or not, though, more and more food is being devoted to fueling …

Fill 'Er Up: On biofuels

An interview with Missouri farmer and ethanol co-op member Brian Miles

Cultivating change? Photo: iStockphoto Like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather before him, Brian Miles spends his days working the family farm. Unlike his forebears, however, he also sits on the board of Mid-Missouri Energy, a farmer-owned ethanol cooperative in Malta …

Food

Congress prepares to soak the 2007 Farm Bill in ethanol, to the delight of agribiz.

"You can have Republicans and Democrats absolutely in lockstep agreement on certain issues in the farm bill, and it has nothing to do with parties. These issues tend to be commodity-driven," gushed USDA chief Mike Johanns. Uh-oh. Looks like a …