The National Corn Growers Association is urged U.S. policymakers to "acknowledge the benefits of corn ethanol in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." As the debate surrounding the future of biofuels continues, policymakers need to recognize corn's important role in ethanol production, according to the National Corn Growers Association. 

“There are numerous scientific studies which factually support that corn ethanol results in a net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” says Steve Ruh, chairman of NCGA’s ethanol committee and a grower from Sugar Grove, Ill. “Opponents of corn ethanol should be clear about their motives and should recognize the mounting scientific evidence that supports the sustainability and environmental benefits of corn ethanol.”

Ruh points out that, back in 2005, Argonne National Laboratories reported  that 13 out of 17  studies on greenhouse-gas emissions reported that corn ethanol provides a significant reduction compared to conventional gasoline. More recent reports continue this trend, Ruh notes, specifically:

  • Researchers at the University of Nebraska  analyzed the life cycles of corn-ethanol systems accounting for the majority of U.S. capacity to estimate greenhouse-gas emissions and energy efficiencies on the basis of updated values for crop management and yields, biorefinery operation, and coproduct utilization. Direct-effect greenhouse-gas emissions were estimated to be equivalent to a 48 percent to 59 percent reduction compared to gasoline, a twofold to threefold greater reduction than reported in previous studies. 
  • A report prepared for the International Energy Agency  details the dramatic improvement in greenhouse-gas emission benefits offered by corn ethanol and predicts greenhouse-gas reductions of nearly 60 percent from corn-based ethanol compared to gasoline by 2015. The report found 2005-era corn ethanol offered a 39 percent greenhouse-gas reduction relative to gasoline.

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