Obama: Corn Ethanol Thirstier Than Gasoline

We already knew that corn ethanol produces more greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline.

Now the Obama Administration says corn ethanol is thirstier than gasoline.

The administration’s climate assessment, released last month, asserted that “raising crops to produce biofuels uses arable land and water that might otherwise be available for food production.” The administration said that small corn harvests caused by the drought of 2012 underscored the nation’s “food versus ethanol” dilemma.

Depending on how farmers grow the corn, producing a gallon of ethanol requires 15 to 1,500 gallons of water -- compared to 1.9 to 6.6 gallons of water to produce and refine petroleum-based fuels.

That means ethanol can require 220 times more water than gasoline.

Even though nearly half of the country is experiencing some form of drought – and a quarter of the country is suffering through “severe” drought – the corn ethanol lobby is fighting to blend even more corn ethanol into gasoline.

Reducing the amount of corn ethanol the government requires to be blended into gasoline for vehicle fuel, as the Obama administration has proposed, would not only help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as EWG has shown. It would also take the pressure off parched rivers, lakes and aquifers.

It’s time for the administration to follow through with its commitment to the environment.  Water is precious – don’t squander it.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons: Tomas Castelazo

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