Originally published November 22 2013
The dirty secret behind Obama's green power push
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) We here at Natural News have never understood the wisdom of burning up food supplies, which is one reason why we are vehemently opposed to the addition of ethanol in gasoline.
In 2007, when President Bush signed legislation requiring ethanol to be blended with regular fuel, its usage has only increased. At the time, Bush said that the law was necessary to combat environmental damage and to make the country "stronger, cleaner and more secure."
But Bush isn't the only one who pushed for ethanol. Enter Barack Obama.
'Ethanol era has proved far more damaging to the environment'
As a candidate for the presidency in 2007, and with the Iowa political caucuses coming into view, Obama "made homegrown corn a centerpiece of his plan to slow global warming," The Associated Press reported recently.
However, both men were wrong: Ethanol should never have been mandated in the first place, because none of the objectives its use was intended to achieve have been realized.
As AP notes, "the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today."
-- Farmers who have rushed to find new places to plant corn - from which ethanol is made - have destroyed millions of acres of conservation land, disrupted and displaced habitats and polluted water supplies, according to an AP investigation.
-- Under Obama's "green" watch, 5 million acres that had been set aside for conservation - more land than contained within the Everglades, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks combined - have simply vanished.
-- Landowners have filled in wetlands and plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had remained locked in the soil.
-- Chemical sprayers have pumped billions of pounds of fertilizer into fields, some of which has seeped into drinking water, contaminated rivers and exacerbated the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where marine life cannot survive.
"The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. But the Obama administration stands by it, highlighting its benefits to the farming industry rather than any negative impact," the AP reported.
In the last year alone, farmers planted 15 million more acres of corn than before the ethanol boom. And the effects are becoming increasingly visible across the so-called "corn belt" - states like Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri.
"They're raping the land," Bill Alley, a member of the board of supervisors in Wayne County, told AP. The land there "now bears little resemblance to the rolling cow pastures shown in postcards sold at a Corydon pharmacy," says AP.
Energy production is vital to the nation's economy and security, to be sure, but it should be done in an environmentally friendly manner. But as usual, government interference has produced the opposite effect.
Per the AP:
All energy comes at a cost. The environmental consequences of drilling for oil and natural gas are well documented and severe. But in the president's push to reduce greenhouse gases and curtail global warming, his administration has allowed so-called green energy to do not-so-green things.
This is an ecological disaster
Ethanol is of special concern.
Government promises of benefits are so wrong that independent scientists are now questioning whether ethanol will ever achieve its main environmental goal: a reduction in greenhouse gases. And that is making hidden costs even more egregious.
"This is an ecological disaster," said Craig Cox with the Environmental Working Group, a liberal environmental group that is a natural ally of the president, but which now finds itself opposing Obama's continued backing of a portion of the energy sector that has proven harmful.
There may be some hope. AP reports that the numbers behind ethanol production are so horrible that, for the first time, the EPA is considering lowering the amount of ethanol that is required to be blended with regular gasoline.
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