Editor’s note: Wondering when we will end our dependence on foreign oil? This isn’t the way to do it!
Backed by government subsidies and mandates, hundreds of ethanol plants rose among the golden fields of the Corn Belt, bringing jobs and business to small towns, providing farmers with a new market for their crops and generating billions of dollars in revenue for the producers of this corn-based fuel blend.
Those days of promise and prosperity are vanishing.
Nearly 10 percent of the nation’s ethanol plants have stopped production over the past year, in part because the drought that has ravaged much of the nation’s crops pushed commodity prices so high that ethanol has become too expensive to produce.
A dip in gasoline consumption has compounded the industry’s problem by reducing the demand for ethanol.
This should make us all proud. Pennsylvania was ranked 7th out of the 50 states for doing the most to reduce our dependence on oil. Because Pennsylvania funds public transit systems (like PART and SEPTA) and because of setting renewable fuel standards we earned high marks. California ranked number 1 while Alaska was number 50. Pennsylvania drivers spend 3.4% of their income on gas, which is the 8th lowest percentage in the country!