An article in Business Ethics (2011) that was written last year states that ethanol already has played a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional gas-powered cars that are on the roads today. Ethanol, even the 10 percent that is added to traditional gasoline helps to meet federally mandated air quality standards according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy. It reduces exhaust emissions of carbon monoxide by as much as 30 percent compared to pure gasoline (Business Ethics, 2011).
It depends. Ethanol produced from corn is very controversial because we have to increase the amount of land used for crops, are using potential food for fuel, and corn fields require very large quantities of water to grow. Ethanol can be made with other plants that do not take away from food sources, however, such as plant parts that are typically waste products after the main part of a plant is used. NASA is currently working on making fuel from algae. There have also been success stories of people adapting their car engines so they can run on waste oils from restaurants.
As eblairbryant said, ethanol is a very controversial fuel. I believe that if we grew all corn ethanol without the use of pesticides and cut the subsidies to it, then we could see if it was really a good alternative. A good, long-term source of fuel should not need subsidies to work. Thus, I think that the best way to power motorized transportation is to switch to electric vehicles without the rebates. I know several people who have converted gas cars to run on electricity, and none of them got rebates for it. However, they are still saving money. For longer distances, we can use waste vegetable oil, which is discarded by restaurants that cannot legally re-use it due to health code issues. My uncle has a waste vegetable oil vehicle, and gets his fuel for free when he buys lunch.
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