July 6, 2005

Comments on Ethanol & National Security

Former CIA Director James Woolsey recently spoke at a press conference of the 25 x '25 Ag Energy Work Group about the national security importance of the energy paradigm shift away from fossil fuels toward renewable fuels like ethanol (Former CIA Director Woolsey on Ethanol & National Security). In response to Director Woolsey's presentation I would like to offer a few comments...

There are many aspects of national security that will be strengthened by a robust renewable energy commitment by this country. Addressing specifically bioconversion technologies that convert agricultural, forestry, and urban waste to ethanol:

1 - Markets for unsuccessful harvests (agricultural waste) as well as successful ones will secure farming incomes

2 - Farmers can rotate between crops without sacrificing bioenergy income

3 - Cooperative ownership of local production provides economic stability by decentralizing profit centers, increasing employment, and spurring local investment

4 - Competition between fossil fuels and renewables will keep fuel prices in check

5 - Consumer choice at the pump between various blends of gas/ethanol will insure a smooth transition in infrastructure and vehicle development

6 - Fewer greenhouse gas emissions bolster the air quality

7 - Waste conversion will reduce need for landfill

8 - Regional energy self-reliance will insure abundance

9 - Communities will save money from reduction of tipping fees

10 - Co-generated electricity will reduce dependence on fossil fuels

As a comparison, Brazil has a more secure energy policy than the United States when it comes to dependence on foreign liquid fuel supplies. As a net exporter of ethanol, it has demonstrated that a maturing ethanol infrastructure is achieveable and desireable, and that a wide variety flex-fuel automobiles from major car manufacturers are being marketed right now.

Emerging biomass conversion technologies holds the promise of regional energy self-reliance - the best defense against both foreign dependence and centralized corporate mis-management of the industry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Take a look at www.wisconsinethanol.com