The Instigator
elithedebater
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
bradshaw93
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Ethanol subsidies and RFS should be eliminated by the US Federal Government

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,549 times Debate No: 15310
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

elithedebater

Pro

This is my first debate on here so we'll see how this goes. =)

Currently the USFG (United States Federal Government) is giving tax credits, subsidies, etc. to the ethanol industry. They should be eliminated. Here's why.

1) Ethanol raises food prices
Since most of the ethanol produced in the US is and will be corn ethanol, corn that is used for ethanol is unable to be used as food resulting in an increase in food prices.

The Congressional Budget Office wrote in 2009 (http://www.cbo.gov... )
"The upswing in the demand for corn to be used in producing domestic ethanol raised the commodity's price, CBO estimates, by between 50 cents and 80 cents per bushel between April 2007 and April 2008. That range is equivalent to between 28 percent and 47 percent of the increase in the price of corn, which rose from $3.39 per bushel to $5.14 per bushel during the same period. That price increase occurred despite an increase in corn production--that is, in the amount of corn grown, harvested, and marketed."

Ethanol subsidies encourage an industry that increases food prices for everyone.

2) Ethanol overall hurts the environment
Some people only focus on the greenhouse gas emissions that come from ethanol, but ignore the larger picture.

Robert W. Hahn, 2008, (http://www.brookings.edu...)
"In general, many studies focus on the greenhouse gas emissions associated with ethanol use, but ignore some of the other environmental impacts including resource depletion, ozone depletion, acidification, human and ecological health, and smog formation."

By subsidizing the ethanol industry, the USFG is encouraging an industry that is hazardous to our health and the enviroment.

3) Ethanol is economically unsustainable with subsidies
Jerry Taylor, 2007, (http://www.cato.org...)
"The underlying premise of energy policy - that the federal government must act to promote alternative energy - is dubious. If investing in alternative energy makes economic sense, investors will make those investments of their own free will because that's how profits are secured in a free market economy. If investing in alternative energy does not make economic sense, investors will rightly eschew those investments."

Ethanol is a bad fuel that has many problems and the subsidies that keep the industry afloat should be eliminated.
bradshaw93

Con

Ethanol is good because it is a renewable form of energy. All we have to do is grow corn and then we can turn it into fuel. The government should make ethanol because it can help us get off of fossil fuels.
Debate Round No. 1
elithedebater

Pro

It is true that ethanol is thought of as a renewable fuel; however, using ethanol as a fuel will not bring about any benefits compared to fossil fuels. Here are two reasons why.

1) Ethanol is worse environmentally.
Robert W. Hahn also stated (see link above)
""One of the greatest challenges to the greenhouse gas reductions attributed to ethanol is from a recent study led by Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen. The study finds that the amount of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, emitted through agriculture was previously underestimated. Accounting for the increase in nitrous oxide emissions actually results in net increases in greenhouse gases from the production and use of biofuels such as ethanol."

Looking at the Greenhouse gas emissions, ethanol is worse than gasoline. Ethanol is also bad for the environment as I stated above.

2) Ethanol cannot replace Fossil fuels.
In order for the US to completely depend on ethanol as a fuel, we would need to use every single acre of crop land in the US, use it to grow corn, and turn it over to be used to produce ethanol. And we'd need another 20 percent of usable land on top of that. Even the U.S. Energy Information Administration believes that the practical limit for ethanol production is 700,000 barrels per day, a figure not realistic until 2030.

Ethanol is a horrendous fuel with devastating impacts. Attempting to use it to get off fossil fuels will only lead to more problems. The US Government should end its subsidies to this industry.
bradshaw93

Con

bradshaw93 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
elithedebater

Pro

I thank my opponent for being willing to debate with me.

At this time I do not wish to present any more arguments.
bradshaw93

Con

bradshaw93 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Zealous1 6 years ago
Zealous1
Funny, so you're in the NCFCA? And you're still debating?

I'm in Region 2.
Posted by elithedebater 6 years ago
elithedebater
Done.

It's funny. Ethanol was the case I ran environmental year. ;)
Posted by Zealous1 6 years ago
Zealous1
You need to cite your sources with URL's.

And also it's funny, ethanol subsidies is the funding for my aid to Russia case.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
elithedebaterbradshaw93Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Zealous1 6 years ago
Zealous1
elithedebaterbradshaw93Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
elithedebaterbradshaw93Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit.