I agree with coff. It’s about maximizing farmgate values in a capitalistic society. Unfortunately, it drives food prices higher. One reason, is that farmers have not had good alternatives. The infrastructure to build Cellulosic Ethanol plants and to develop the varieties of biomass to energy crops is expensive and requires large infusions of capital investment. Technology is available for digestion and other conversion processes. One aspect has been the cheap availability of fossil fuels and limited environmental regulations, which meant we substituted a healthy environment for healthier bottom lines. It’s the American way and someone has to consider the entire cycle and the impacts on our collective well-being. Left to their own (without government intervention) mankind would prefer to count their immediate gains, while sacrificing(unknowingly or with great doubt) their heirs healthy futures. We even can use biomass as a co-ingredient in direct burn with coal for cleaner emissions. Unfortunately, the BTU content is about 2/3 of fossil fuels, making it more dear and another complication to power plant operators who prefer to keep things simple, although they are allowed to present cost increases to the PUC to pass on increases to the end-user. Large scale projects are poised to take the place of food crops used for biomass. Millions of acres are required and with over 40 million acres in the federal set-aside programs, the canvas is ready. We just need to invest in these crops and this new technology for crops that will benefit every member of the supply chain and improve the environment, while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. We are proponents of Miscanthus Grass as an alternative which is 5X the yield of corn for Cellulosic Ethanol. Look for our website by November to better explain this product.
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