LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Big ethanol’s big consequences

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If we do not change our energy policies soon, our own grandchildren will go hungry. Big ethanol is now a powerful political force, a monster created by presidents, congressmen, entrepreneurs and scientists looking for a paycheck. Biofuel production and the food cost hyperinflation it has created are a major cause of our current economic collapse. We are eroding our irreplaceable topsoil by producing engine-rotting, energy-inefficient fuels that consumers do not even want in their cars.

Switchgrass, algae, giant reed and all the rest will never produce an ecologically benign fuel that people can afford to use. Wildly irresponsible genetic-engineering research is being conducted to create artificial superalgae and radically new bacteria to produce biofuels. If these synthetic organisms are not contained, they could spread worldwide as soon as large-scale production has begun. Once let out of the laboratory, unforeseen consequences could result.


Eugene, Ore.

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