Where do we start? Lets start with what we have now. My concern with the current E85 blend is that it creates more pollution, is less efficient and will increase the price of common commodities than fossil fuels. Ethanol is being sold by corporations and politicians that are draping themselves in a green cloak. This is my opinion, my bias.
So what would be a better solution? Signs are pointing to cellulosic ethanol. What is it you say? Here is the Department of Energy’s explanation [Link]
Cellulosic ethanol can be made from other forms of plants, mulching, grass clippings, corn stalks and other non fruit bearing parts of plants. Why are we not using it now? The yeild for the process is not worth the effort. So why am I bringing this up? Well the process could be improved with the inclusion of GM plants. That’s Geneticly Modified plants.
Ethically what are the implications of using GM plants to supplement our demand for fuel? I may be premature by raising this subject or behind the curve in regards to the GM conundrum, I don’t know. We are already using GM foods all over the world and the cat is out of the bag. Questions about cross pollination and whether or not we should play god is a topic I am not fully versed in. However I do think this topic needs to be discussed in the open. E85 was never given much scrutiny before it was pushed on us by Washington.
So which lines do we cross and which ones do we hold sacred? Is the jury still out on GM foods? 50 years from now what would the implications be? 100 years?