A prominent Michigan environmentalist announced this month that he’ll spend big to lobby against the ethanol mandate, which he calls “a farce” and “a very environmentally damaging policy.”
As I noted in a recent policy focus on ethanol for the Independent Women’s Forum, ethanol isn’t as green as promised.
Compared to gasoline, it does emit less carbon when burnt—but emissions of nitrous oxide and volatile organic compounds are actually higher than petroleum. Expand the picture beyond the fueling station and cars, and things get even more complicated, because making ethanol from corn is often a very carbon-intensive process.
Jerry Jung, the wealthy Michigan environmentalist attacking ethanol, voiced similar concerns.
“Ethanol production requires 35 million acres to farm; that’s more than the size of Michigan,” he recently told Crain’s. “The amount of pollution this produces is staggering.”
Jung has already launched a website, RethinkEthanol.com. He’s also hired a lobbyist and arranged meetings with Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan. Finally, he’s preparing to file suit against the Environmental Protection Agency.