One of the most controversial issues relating to ethanol is the question of what environmentalists call the “net energy” of ethanol production. Simply put, is more energy used to grow and process the raw material into ethanol than is contained in the ethanol itself? In 1992, ILSR addressed this question. Our report, based on actual energy consumption data from farmers and ethanol plant operators, was widely disseminated and its methodology has been imitated by a number of other researchers. This paper updates the data in that original report and addresses some of the concerns that some reviewers of the original report expressed.
David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and currently ILSR's distinguished fellow. His five non-fiction books range from an analysis of Chilean development to the future of electric power to the transformation of cities and neighborhoods. For 14 years he was a regular columnist for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. His essays on public policy have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Salon, Alternet, Common Dreams, and the Huffington Post.
Latest posts from David
- Democracy for All: Amending the U.S. Constitution - October 23, 2019
- Americans Voted Directly on Policies As Well As People - November 12, 2018
- New Zealand: Feminist Policies Drive a Progressive Agenda - October 8, 2018