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 Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in It’s Time to Act for Right Whales Years after they agreed to expand critical habitat for endangered North Atlantic right whales, we’re still waiting on NMFS to follow through. So we took to the courts to get this much-needed protection in place. How Should We Honor Earth Day? America has many worldwide firsts in conservation: we were the first nation to establish a national park, the first to create a national wildlife refuge, the first to approve a law protecting endangered species and the first to create a national day dedicated to conservation, Earth Day. But today, we are experiencing another period of crisis in America’s commitment to conservation. When did conservation become a polarizing political issue, when it has been, for the past century, a defining characteristic of American values and the American spirit? Ecological Insults and Injuries Revealed Four Years after Deepwater Horizon Four years after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, we’re beginning to see the full scope of how this ecological disaster is impacting our wildlife on land, air and sea.