Maurice Harris

An letter to the editor in today's Springfield News-Leader laments the decision by Gov. Matt Blunt to keep a $42 million subsidy for ethanol production, rather than shifting that money toward water conservation in Southwest Missouri. The worst part of this state funding of ethanol production is that it would cause more water to be used by the plant, damaging the region's groundwater:

The proposed Rogersville ethanol plant, just a few miles east of Ozark,
if built will use 1.3 million gallons of water a day! As will each new
subsidized plant built in Missouri.Hundreds of reliable Internet sources condemn ethanol production: for
its toxic emissions and effluents; as an ineffective gasoline
alternative; for dramatically raising food prices; but most
frightening, for its contamination and horrific waste of ground water.

Some politicians seem as though they've been led to believe that ethanol is the cure-all solution to our energy crisis. In reality, ethanol is more costly than gasoline; it takes more fuel to make a gallon of ethanol than that gallon produces for consumers. Also, ethanol's environmental repercussions, as pointed out in the op-ed, make ethanol production a poor strategy for solving our foreign oil dependency. Instead of wasting tax dollars on a fuel that does more harm than good, let's use it to conserve a substance we all need in order to live ... water.

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Maurice Harris