[FoRK] An Alternative View on Ethanol

Baron Earl <baron.earl at gmail.com> on Mon Mar 26 10:02:50 PDT 2007

> > http://www.harpers.org/TheOilWeEat.html
> >
> > How else do you think that the soil gets fertilized?
> >
> > "On average, it takes 5.5 gallons of fossil energy
> > to restore a
> > year's worth of lost fertility to an acre of eroded
> > land—in 1997 we
> > burned through more than 400 years' worth of ancient
> > fossilized
> > productivity,

323,000,000 harvested acres in the U.S. in 2000.
(http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dgn2m2ZlX_gC&oi=fnd&pg=RA1-PA1&sig=pElIOA563C-u7bHP8YpyvRuY-Wo&dq=%22Platt%22+%22Land+Use+and+Society:+Geography,+Law,+and+Public+Policy%22+#PPA11,M1)

5.5 gallons of crude oil per acre (your cite)

U.S. Oil consumption (2004): 20.73 million bbl/day
(https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/print/us.html)

42 U.S. gallons / bbl (http://www.spe.org/spe/jsp/basic/0,,1104_1732,00.html)

U.S. Oil Consumption per year: 7556 million bbl

Oil consumed for fertilizer stock per year: 42.3 million bbl (0.5% of the total)

So is the fact that half a percent of total U.S. oil consumption goes
to fertilizer really a good argument for not growing crops for ethanol
production? Or just a red herring?


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