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Quick Hits: Ethanol Myth Persists


Farmers peddle poor substitute for oil.

Hungry developing nations watch aghast as rich Americans attempt to feed Escalades (GM) and Expeditions (F) with vegetables.

True, ethanol can be mixed with traditional gasoline to power cars. But it's woefully inefficient and expensive to make. Farmers have raced to seed the crop responsible for the alternative fuel -- corn -- in recent years, throwing the world's cost of food into disarray.

But The Wall Street Journal reports American farmers will plant significantly less corn this year than was originally forecast. It appears growers are beginning to reap what they sowed: overextended farming infrastructure and soaring production costs. The U.S. should look to Brazil, whose reliance on the cleaner, more efficient sugar-based ethanol is a model for developing -- and developed -- nations around the world.

Still, the ethanol myth continues to be peddled ad nauseam. Prohibitive fuel prices (and even eco-consciousness) may force consumers to go green, but they'll have to turn the corner with an alternative energy other than corn. Why keep up the charade?
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