Alan Guebert

Big Ethanol sees electric cars as a market maker

Alan Guebert

One of modern agriculture’s most beloved offspring, ethanol, received a sharp reprimand Feb. 13 from Iowa’s largest newspaper, The Des Moines Register.

In an editorial titled “Ethanol has been a boon for Iowa’s economy. But it’s time to pivot and figure out what’s next,” The Register chided Iowa Republicans and Democrats alike for supporting ethanol-pushing programs when everyone in the Hawkeye State “would be better served to figure out what comes after ethanol.”

It wasn’t ethanol’s only public slap in the past month or even the past week. 

Two days before, Christopher S. Jones, a widely published research engineer at the University of Iowa, lit up Twitter with a blog post titled “Iowa is Addicted to Cornography,” an essay that, in part, compared the energy supplied from an acre of Iowa corn grown for ethanol to that of an acre of solar panels making electricity.