Ethanol has proven to be a global failure especially when produced from food crops such as corn. It's production has dramatically raised food prices and threatens to cause disruptions in the price of other commodities like soybeans. The rain forest is being burnt and cleared at record paces to make more agricultural land for ethanol purposes. This leads to increased global warming.
Natural gas burns much cleaner than gasoline, is readily available, and has alternative sources that aren't food related. North America has enough to provide the U.S. a domestic-based fuel, at the same or lower price as foreign oil. There are enough reserves already to last more than 100 years if used alone. That 100 years could be greatly extended by mixing with alternative fuels (non-food sources). Most importantly it would provide the U.S. ample time to pursue other viable, earth-friendly fuel sources, while reducing price fluctuations due to foreign instability.
The time to use natural gas for vehicles is here. We must get to it as soon as we can, because this is critical to our economy both now and long-term. The benefits include:
- Keeps domestic money here, reduces exports, and produces jobs domestically
- Reduces greenhouse gases substantially
- Stabilizes fuel price fluctuations
- Eliminates foreign dependence
- Eliminates need to produce ethanol using food staples such as corn. The government should end subsidies to any producers still using corn or other food source.
- Reduces inflationary pressures caused by high oil and food prices