The Sun Journal editorial about ethanol (Feb. 6) was good but didn't go far enough. It could have been a little harder on those folks in Washington.
For anyone knowing how to use a computer, it wouldn't be too hard to verify what I found out some time ago, namely, that if one counted all the energy (from fertilizer, etc.) to produce a gallon of ethanol, it would take a little more than a gallon of what is mostly oil. Since a gallon of oil has more energy than a gallon of ethanol, how can ethanol be "green"?
It seems to me that the big agri-business lobby sold Congress on an incorrect idea that ethanol was a reduction of the nation's dependence on foreign oil. In fact, it seems to have been an attempt to obtain a lot of unnecessary subsidies for large, frequently not-American owned farms.
Another fact: When the subsidies ran out (approximately two years ago) many of the ethanol plants closed down. Seems it cost too much to produce to make a profit.
Another idea might be to go back to selling corn to countries that need food and are willing to buy corn. Doesn't America need money?
In September while driving home through Nebraska, I noticed two gas stations where "real" gas was being sold. I don't know if it was false advertising, but it ran well in the motor home and only cost a little more than the ethanol-added product.
I thought that Nebraska was one of the larger corn producing states and I saw an awful lot of acres that did have corn growing. Maybe not all states have people in local government as stupid as others.
My suggestion is to cut the percentage of ethanol to no more than 5 percent. The notice posted on most gas pumps currently states "Can contain up to 10 percent ethanol." Does that mean not necessarily 10 percent?
If the law doesn't require 10 percent, what is the problem with cutting back? That way the filling stations don't have a problem with having to add another pump(s) or tanks and motorists get most of what all of us need — a product that doesn't cause so much additional cost, both to buy and especially to use.
David Churchill, Minot