Sunday, July 8, 2007


Just a week ago, Mark Udall was touting his corn subsidies for Colorado ethanol production.

This site pointed out that the water intensive process of growing corn to produce ethanol in a water intensive refining process didn't seem like such a good idea in a state that always seems to be short of water.

CSU, which is a leader in research into ethanol production, reports in its college paper:

... ethanol experts and politicians are beginning to agree that corn-based ethanol may not be the magic energy solution many have come to see it as.

"When you start thinking about what kind of plant you should grow to best utilize its biomass, corn is not the answer," said Ken Reardon, a Colorado State University chemical and biological engineering professor who researches ethanol production.

"Because corn uses a lot of water, people are now looking at crops that take less water to grow and produce more mass per acre than corn...”

Fort Collins Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer said alternative and renewable energy is a “national security” issue and the advances being made in ethanol production will play a big role.

“We seem to be right on the cusp of being able to crack the next step,which is to allow a wider range of organic material to be used in the development of ethanol,” Schaffer said. “Once that is cracked, we will be able to see everything from wood chips and switchgrass to other crops that will result in higher yields.”

Schaffer’s opponent, Rep. Mark Udall, D-Eldorado Springs, called corn ethanol a “bridge” to the new energy future.

One week, corn is THE answer, and the next, it is only a "bridge." Is anyone else cornfused?

This just raises more questions for Mark Udall: Why would any profit oriented entrepreneur want to build a corn ethanol plant in Colorado if it is only to be a temporary "bridge?" Where in Colorado do you propose to put a corn ethanol plant and which city's water do you intend to appropriate for it? Environmental Impact Studies will doubtless slow the construction of a corn ethanol plant to well past the period when the "bridge"no longer needed, so why are we trying to grow more corn if there are to be no local corn ethanol refineries?

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