I recently received the following email from Friends of the Earth, containing the monthly newsletter, eco-beat . The headline story caught my eye, since the ethanol mandate has been talked about a lot recently because of the current drought affecting the US corn crop. During this time of drought when the corn harvest will be lower than most recent years, the requirement to use corn for ethanol production causes upward pressure not only on the price of animal feed, but also on many food products for human consumption, and on other industrial products derived from corn in addition to gasoline that contains ethanol.
There have been many suggestions on this message board and in the media about substitutes that can be economically used to produce the mandated ethanol content of gasoline; now is as good a time as any to consider those again. The best products to use are those that would not also be required for feeding animals or humans, and also would not take away supply of products that already are used for some other industrial purpose. Switchgrass has been mentioned as a substitute for corn in ethanol production, as well as hemp.
here is a link for the online version of the email :
home page for Friends of the Earth :
Welcome to Friends of the Earth's monthly newsletter, eco-beat, where you get news and updates on our campaigns and ways to take action for a healthy and just world.
Severe drought creates problems for ethanol mandate
As the drought wreaks havoc on corn crops and projected corn yields
, federal policies that force large amounts of corn out of the food supply and into ethanol production are coming under increasing scrutiny -- and for good reason. The Renewable Fuel Standard exacerbates food insecurity and hunger in times of severe drought and other extremes that deplete corn supplies. Meanwhile, corn ethanol production degrades the environment and fails to provide a stable or sustainable alternative to oil. At a time when more than half of the counties in the country have been labeled "disaster areas " by the Department of Agriculture due to unpredictable weather and heat waves, it’s neither sensible nor safe to build an energy sector based on water- and weather-dependent crops. Unfortunately, that's just what President Obama's administration and the ethanol lobby are doing by supporting the Renewable Fuel Standard .
Victory to reduce air pollution from ships
traveling in the waters around North America went into effect. The North American Emission Control Area creates a lower pollution zone in which ocean-going ships will have to use cleaner fuels or employ other technologies to reduce toxic air emissions. According to EPA estimates , the rules will prevent up to 31,000 premature deaths annually by 2030.
BP's Olympic-sized carbon offsets ruse
Every four years around this time, TV commercials are full of attempts to bathe corporate logos in the warm flame of Olympic glory. The irony of some corporate sponsorships -- like BP's "Target Neutral" initiative to provide carbon offsets to Olympic athletes and spectators
-- isn’t lost on most people. Friends of the Earth believes that carbon offsets as a way of reducing greenhouse gas pollution in the atmosphere are a dangerous distraction .
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) in order to vote on CREDO Mobile’s 2012 ballot .
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