Cellulosic ethanol: Can cellulosic ethanol generate good jobs?

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  • Temporary at Best

    Like other sources of alternative energy, cellulosic ethanol is simply too expensive to produce and is not commercially viable. With the abundance of cheap oil available in the United States, heavy subsidies buoy the alternative energy industry, but when those subsidies dry up, the jobs created in that industry do too.

  • Too Many Subsidies

    Like many other alternative energy businesses, cellulosic ethanol could create some jobs in the near term because government subsidies distort the financial risk associated with starting such a business. But the abundance of oil and new methods of extracting it have made oil by far the cheapest energy source available, and cellulosic ethanol is nowhere near a viable alternative given the price difference, so the jobs will be short lived.

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