The progressives’ energy policies sure are bad for the environment. Look what solar and wind projects are doing to birds. What did our feathered friends ever do to Democrats that they’re paying with their lives? Worse yet, the ethanol mandate is ravaging the earth. This news doesn’t come from some right-wing news outlet, it’s from the Associated Press. You know it must be bad if the AP is reporting how bad Obama’s policies are for the environment.
What the green-energy program has made profitable, however, is far from green. A policy intended to reduce global warming is encouraging a farming practice that actually could worsen it.
That’s because plowing into untouched grassland releases carbon dioxide that has been naturally locked in the soil. It also increases erosion and requires farmers to use fertilizers and other industrial chemicals. In turn, that destroys native plants and wipes out wildlife habitats.
It appeared so damaging that scientists warned that America’s corn-for-ethanol policy would fail as an anti-global warming strategy if too many farmers plowed over virgin land.
The Obama administration argued that would not happen. But the administration didn’t set up a way to monitor whether it actually happened.
More than 1.2 million acres of grassland have been lost since the federal government required that gasoline be blended with increasing amounts of ethanol, an Associated Press analysis of satellite data found. Plots that were wild grass or pastureland seven years ago are now corn and soybean fields.
That’s in addition to the 5 million acres of farmland that had been aside for conservation — more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined — that have vanished since Obama took office. (Read More)
It’s a shame the AP waited so long to report how bad it is. (Gee, kind of like how the media waited until after Obamacare was implemented to tell people what was in it.) IBD reminds us that they have been warning about these very issues for years.
Back in June 2010, we warned that before the first drop of oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico, there existed an “8,500 square mile ‘dead zone’ below the Mississippi River Delta, roughly the size of Connecticut and Delaware combined.”
It was due to bottom-water hypoxia, or oxygen depletion, caused by increasing agricultural runoff into the Mississippi River caused by increasing corn production for making ethanol.
In January 2012 we again warned of ethanol’s environmental threat. We wrote about how the “increased biofuel cultivation hurt the environment through increased use of pesticides, farmland expansion and agricultural runoff polluting our rivers and coastal waters.”
We noted that increased “acreage means increased agricultural runoff that is creating aquatic dead zones in our rivers, bays and coastal areas.”
We reported that it takes 4,000 gallons of fresh water per acre per day to replace evaporation in a cornfield. Each acre requires about 130 pounds of nitrogen and 55 pounds of phosphorous.
All that to produce something that causes as much environmental harm as the fossil fuel it would replace.
Read the whole thing, IBD was right all along, and now they’ve been vindicated by the AP. Too bad nobody listened back in 2010, maybe they could have saved the prairies from another disastrous progressive policy.