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 Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Literary Legacy Terry Tempest Williams is a widely published author and naturalist and a fierce advocate for ecological consciousness and social change. Big Things Coming from the Northwest Defenders of Wildlife work in the Northwest creates opportunities to promote wildlife protection and sustainable management of public lands. Wolf Weekly Wrap Up Red wolves still in dire straits, and the Service isn’t helping; Conservationists will sue for lobo recovery; More Money for wolf killing in Idaho; The results are in!