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PNS Daily Newscast - December 11, 2018 


The U.S. support of fossil fuels is met with protests and laugher at the UN climate conference. Also, on the Tuesday rundown: we take you to a major city with a look at how segregation impacts life outcomes. Plus, efforts to aid more veteran farmers.

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On World Environment Day, a Call to Rethink Ethanol

Jerry Jung of the group Rethink Ethanol says the ethanol mandate has led to the conversion of 7 million acres of wildlife habitat to agriculture. (GregMontani/Pixabay)
Jerry Jung of the group Rethink Ethanol says the ethanol mandate has led to the conversion of 7 million acres of wildlife habitat to agriculture. (GregMontani/Pixabay)
June 6, 2018

NEW YORK - A coalition of small-business owners, industry leaders and environmentalists says it's time to take a hard look at the real impact of ethanol mixed in gasoline.

In 2005, Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard, requiring that 4 billion gallons of ethanol be added to the nation's gasoline. Two years later, the requirement was raised to 36 billion gallons, and now there's pressure to increase it again. But while part of the original intent may have been to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, Jerry Jung, founder of the group Rethink Ethanol, said it takes more fossil-fuel energy to make ethanol than it yields.

"So, if you think about that," he said, "you realize that every time we consume ethanol in our vehicles, we're actually consuming twice as much energy as if we were using pure gasoline."

Corn-producing states such as Iowa have been strong supporters of the ethanol mandate. But even Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt now is saying too much ethanol is being blended into gasoline.

The ethanol mandate also has led to the conversion of more than 7 million acres of wildlife habitat to corn production, said Jung, adding that he believes the prevalence of genetically engineered BT corn is a major factor in wiping out species such as the monarch butterfly.

"A biotoxin that kills moths and butterflies in the larval stage is bred into the corn," he said, "so the trillions of corn plants we have in this country are actually producing biotoxins."

He noted that the monarch butterfly population has declined 90 percent in the past decade.

Rather than eliminating ethanol in gasoline, some in Congress want to raise the concentration from 10 percent to 15 percent. Jung said he thinks that's the wrong way to go.

"First off, you're looking at more tailpipe emissions," he said. "Nitrous oxide and some other bad actors increase dramatically when you've got more than 10 percent ethanol in your gasoline."

Jung said the ethanol mandate was well intentioned, but science has proved it isn't helping to protect people or the environment.

More information is online at rethinkethanol.com.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY