Some interesting facts from an op-ed in today's Oregonian on biofuels:
What about biofuels as a way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels? Biofuel production, especially corn ethanol, is energy intensive. Even if we used the entire U.S. corn crop of 12 billion bushels to make ethanol, the net contribution would amount to just over one-half of 1 percent of our fossil fuel energy consumption. And even that number is highly optimistic.What about cost effectiveness? The cost of using the nation's entire corn crop for ethanol would be about $7.6 billion. By comparison, studies estimate that raising the gas tax or tightening fuel economy standards could achieve 10 times as much in fossil fuel reductions for the same cost.
-- William Jaeger and Thorsten Egelkraut, Oregon State University