The latest trend in the green world of ethanol is a surprising one: coal.look around in your neighborhood to see if this is the trend we want to see? The report offers this comment on the Californian law:
Minnesota’s first coal-fired ethanol plant soon will begin operation in Heron Lake, and it won’t be the last. The high price of natural gas is enticing new plant owners to embrace coal power. But while it may make economic sense, the choice of this fossil fuel to make a renewable one has some people shaking their heads. [emphasis added]
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his state’s Legislature have embraced a plan to rate all motor fuels by greenhouse gas emissions over their entire life cycles, from production to transportation to ignition.
Measured that way, ethanol made from plant residue would earn an excellent rating. Ethanol from corn would do moderately well. And corn ethanol made in a coal-fired plant? That would rate poorly — even lower than ordinary gasoline, according to Schwarzenegger’s office.