Welch is right

Editor of the Reformer:

Our good Representative in the House, Peter Welch, is right on in his heroic attack on the currently mandated program of a 10 percent dilution of our gasoline with corn ethanol — indeed, now projected soon to be kicked up to an even higher percentage. Aside from costing more per gallon to produce than gasoline, ethanol also contains one-third less energy per gallon than gasoline. This boon to Midwestern agri-business not only involves costly subsidies, but at the same time has raised our food prices. Moreover, as Mr. Welch reminds us (and many of us have learned to our grief), the ethanol-adulterated gasoline we are forced to buy for our mowers and chain saws has led to damaged engines and costly repairs.

But above all to me, this shamelessly ill-conceived policy is grievously anti-environmental. Simply put, ethanol produced from corn generates substantially more carbon dioxide, that is, more greenhouse gases, per unit of energy than does gasoline. Different studies suggest that this unconscionable increase falls somewhere between 20 and 70 percent. How misguided can our administration get to not only continue forcing this climate-warming fuel on us, but now to even be moving toward increasing that insult to both society and nature?

Arthur H. Westing, Putney, Nov. 23