To the editor:
How ironic that Sunday's edition of this newspaper should contain on the same page an article on the plight of the starving people in Haiti and a service station ad touting "The facts" about ethanol. It also had a discouraging Los Angeles Times story about attempts to produce affordable electric vehicles.
The ad would have us believe that 10 percent ethanol in a gasoline mix would significantly reduce pollution. Compared to the zero emissions of electrical vehicles, internal combustion vehicles with ethanol are hardly better than those without.
Equally minimal is the claim that ethanol will lead to U.S. oil independence. Replacing 10 percent of its oil with ethanol won't release from dependence a country that imports 60 percent of what it uses. A surer path to oil independence involves reducing energy consumption, alternative electrical energy sources and replacing internal combustion engines with electrical motors.
Missing from the ad are the facts tying ethanol production to hunger. Biofuel contributes to rising food costs by converting food corn to fuel. Ethanol production has consequences we are experiencing here. For poor nations, rising food cost means hunger and political unrest.
The solution has many facets. One is to take a closer look at the electric vehicle and its efficiency. That industry would flourish if we took away the subsidies for oil, ethanol and gas-guzzling SUVs and used them to support nonpolluting electrical generation and electric vehicles.