Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ethanol Production to Broaden Gulf 'Dead Zone'

If the US Senate has its way, and the nation hits a goal of 36 billion gallons of annual (corn-based) ethanol production by 2022, the Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" created by crop fertilizer will grow up to 20 percent (an area equivalent in size to New Jersey).

This according to a Univeristy of British Columbia study
reported by ScienceDaily.

Here's how it works. Fertilizer running off of crop land sends a tremendous amount of nitrogen and phosphorous into Midwest waterways, which drain into the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi river. These chemicals cause massive algae blooms in the Gulf. Eventually, the alga dies and that's when the problems begin. As the dead stuff decomposes, it sucks all of the oxygen out of the water. And that creates the fearsome dead zone.

Pound360 wonders whether or not this study,
and others -- or the recent actions of other governments to curb biofuel expansion -- will change the Senate's mind.

Unfortunately, it's not likely. We figure that, once an issue like this hits the agenda in Washington, it's no longer a logical, science-based discussion, it's a political one.


Anonymous said...

While legal, it is still shown as a cash outflow under Investment structural
and cohesion fund Activities. So, I guess you call them, right?
Besides, investments are another issue that need to be considered.

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Pound360 Archive

About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.