20 October 2010 Is corn ethanol clean energy? Posted by: James Navarro | 1 comment | Share: Corn may do the body good, but filling up our cars with a blend of gasoline and corn-based ethanol could also be causing harm to the environment. That’s because growing corn on an industrial scale requires vast amounts of pesticides and fertilizers, which often seep into rivers, lakes and streams, fouling habitat and killing off fish and wildlife. The most well known example lies in the Gulf of Mexico, where algae blooms – largely caused by runoff from Midwestern corn fields along the Mississippi River – have cast a massive, oxygen-deprived “dead zone” over parts of the Gulf. Meanwhile, demand for biofuels, like corn ethanol, places pressure on forests, native prairie and critical wildlife habitat as more of these sensitive areas are sought after for farmland. Corn ethanol is also fueling global warming. The processes of making corn ethanol – growing crops, converting wild lands to farmland and distilling ethanol — creates more greenhouse gas pollution than the gasoline it is supposed to replace. Defenders’ president, Rodger Schlickeisen, explains all this to lawmakers today on the National Journal’s website, urging our nation’s leaders to ignore proposals to subsidize more corn ethanol. Check out his post. Learn more about deforestation. One Response to “Is corn ethanol clean energy?” Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover?