Ethanol vs. Petroleum

Ethanol debates are heating up again on Capitol Hill - so the National Corn Growers Association is comparing the environmental impacts from ethanol and petroleum as transportation fuels. Ethanol - which is primarily made from corn - is renewable and non-toxic - unlike petroleum which is toxic to biological organisms. Ethanol production uses nearly five-percent of U.S. cropland and less than three-percent of all grain crops grown across the world. While petroleum extraction happens across the world and must be shipped to a facility to be refined - most ethanol production facilities are located within 15-miles of where the crop was produced. The EPA says corn starch ethanol produces 23-percent less greenhouse gas emissions compared to petroleum - and a recent study shows various ways to produce ethanol with 50-percent or less emissions compared to gasoline production.

Through the Renewable Fuels Standard - ethanol production and use reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 100-million metric tons last year - the equivalent of removing 20.2-million light duty vehicles from the highways. Since the RFS was enacted - the nation's demand for oil has decreased and oil import dependence has decreased to 45-percent. Looking at these facts - NCGA says it is evident that ethanol is truly renewable and produced in a greener manner than its fossil fuel counterparts.

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