The ethanol industry is firing back over headlined reports of a Stanford University computer model prediction that indicates “nearly 200 more people would die yearly from respiratory problems if all vehicles in the United States ran on a mostly ethanol fuel blend by 2020.”
Officials with the American Coalition for Ethanol stated that, “Air quality has improved in every city, county, and state that has switched from straight gasoline use to ethanol blended fuel. Those are real world results, not predictions.”
“Ethanol’s record as a clean air fuel is unmatched. The track record for the predictive models issued by ethanol opponents – especially with respect to California predictions – has been less than stellar,” ACE’s statement continues.
The Stanford study, which was published in Wednesday’s online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science and Technology, is based on all cars using a blend of 85 percent ethanol, a scenario that could not happen within the foreseeable future, if ever. First, it would require that all cars on the road be flex-fuel vehicles, capable of using E85. Only about five million are currently on the road and auto makers have no plans to make all future vehicles flex-fuel. Secondly, there is no foreseeable way that the ethanol industry, even with cellulosic, could supply as much ethanol as the study assumes.