This Element is an excerpt from Crossing the Energy Divide (ISBN: 9780137015443) by Robert U. Ayres and Edward H. Ayres. Available in print and digital formats.
Why biofuels won’t work--except for gigantic agribusinesses and their lobbyists.
If the entire U.S. corn crop were converted to ethanol, the aggregate reduction in total fossil fuel (gasoline) energy consumption would be just 2.4%. Considering that we still want our corn flakes, pork chops (corn feeds hogs), and cooking oil, any realistic level of crop consumption for fuels would do virtually nothing to end U.S. dependence on foreign oil.