Should We Burn Our Food for Fuel?

971 WordsFeb 27, 20134 Pages
Bashir Muttawa Ecology essay Nov 16 Should we burn our food for fuel? Contents Introduction 3 Why do we do this 3 Conclusion 4 Bibliography 4 Why do we burn fossil fuels Introduction The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates that by 2022 36 billion gallons of biofuels will be produced in the United States. 15 billion gallons of this biofuel is expected to come from corn. (1) This will require the sacrifice of enough food to feed 166,000,000 people--over half the current population of the United States. This doesn't even take into consideration that it takes at least 2/3 gallon of fossil fuel, by the US Department of Energy's own figures, to produce one gallon of ethanol. (2) (Ethanol producers do…show more content…
Conclusion Since fossil fuels produce carbon dioxide as a by-product, which promotes plant growth, they are, in reality, the only truly “green” source of energy that human beings use at the present time. Replacing gasoline with ethanol will therefore not only reduce the amount of food that is available for humans; it will also reduce the amount of food that is available for plants. That is, food that is turned into ethanol is not be available for human consumption and if ethanol does, in fact, reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air then there will be less food available for plant consumption. Wouldn't it therefore be wise to rethink this policy and practice? Bibliography (1) “The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) requires use of 36 billion gallons of renewable transportation fuels in the U.S. by 2022. Of that quantity, 16 billion gallons must be cellulosic biofuels. Ethanol from corn is capped at 15 billion gallons.” ibid. (2) ". . . each gallon of ethanol produced from corn today delivers one third or more energy than is used to produce it." US Department of Energy (3) See: Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 549 U.S. 497 (2007) (4) From research performed at Cornell University
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