Ethanol Being Pushed by Investors and Consultants, Not the Environmental Community

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Jim Henshaw’s article “Time to Scrap Hawaii’s 10 Percent Ethanol Mandate” (July 11) states “ethanol isn’t really a renewable
resource — we’re just taking fossil fuels and converting them to
ethanol without any gain in energy. I understand that Hawaii
legislators want to placate the environmental lobby even if doing so
harms the public.”

Ethanol production using fossil fuels does have a small net gain for


If one BTU unit of fossil fuel is required to generate 1.2 BTU units
of ethanol, then ethanol is 5/6 fossil fuel and 1/6 renewable. Only
the renewable added value should count toward meeting renewable
energy goals.

Unfortunately, Hawaii counts the total ethanol produced, instead of
the renewable component.

Any emission calculation must account for both the fossil fuel
inputs and the ethanol produced.

At the state Legislature, ethanol was not being pushed by the
environmental community. It was being pushed by ethanol investors
and ethanol consultants seeking state subsidies for their bottom

”’Henry Curtis is Executive Director of Life of the Land.”’

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