I just keep running across these kinds of articles — this time from Chemical & Engineering News:
… corn has many other negative environmental impacts: It erodes more soil, uses more nitrogen fertilizer, and uses more water than any other crop. “Corn is the prime cause of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, which is the size of New Jersey,” he says, referring to an area off the coast of Louisiana that is depleted of oxygen due to high levels of nutrient-rich agricultural runoff from the Mississippi River. “These are serious problems,” he says.
Then there’s this part:
Meanwhile, today’s fuel-use patterns could be overhauled through vehicle efficiency. A 3% increase in efficiency would displace more gasoline than was saved through last year’s record ethanol production. The current vehicle efficiency standard was set in the 1970s and was required to be met in 1985, more than 20 years ago. In the future, a drive for better efficiency could force ethanol to compete with electric cars and fuel cells, as well as gasoline.
It bears repeating — a 3% increase in vehicle efficiency would solve many problems.
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