• Sonyalee77
1. The American government makes sure that extra corn fields are planted in an attempt to substitute traditional gasoline with fuel made from corn. What are the advantages and drawbacks of this process?
  • Stacey Warren - Expert
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  • katieb
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  • anonymous
The advantages are that it raises the demand for and hence price of corn, which pleases farmers and Senators from farm states. It also raises the price of meat, since animals are usually fed on corn for some time, and I suppose that makes pig and beef farmers happy, and other farm-state Senators. it may slightly reduce the demand for petroleum, but that's difficult to know for sure, because it depends on how much it reduces the fuel efficiency of cars. If only a little, less gasoline will be burned overall, if a lot, it won't change anything. But if it does reduce the amount of petroleum burned, it will result in less net greenhouse gas emission (because the carbon released by burning ethanol came from CO2 in the first place, when the plant made it). The disadvantages are that it makes food more expensive for consumers, that it reduces fuel efficiency (MPG) and sometimes damages the engines of cars made for burning gasoline, increasing polluting emissions, that it make keeping gasoline dry harder (because the ethanol attracts water), and that it interferes in the natural process by which fuels and engines are improved by private ingenuity -- that is, it may stifle a still better fuel/engine combination from arising, just as if the government had heavily subsidized a certain form of horse-and-carriage in the days when automobiles were first emerging.

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