Will the Rough Patch Continue for Ethanol?

The last year has been a bad one for the corn ethanol industry. With relatively high grain prices and low oil prices, producers have struggled to stay profitable and many companies have gone bankrupt. In addition, growing consumer backlash has caused a public relations nightmare for the industry. With such a terrible state of affairs, where does the industry stand? In this podcast, we’ll look at the state of first-generation ethanol in the U.S.

Rick Kment, an analyst with DTN Research, describes how the industry may look differently when it comes out of the current period of stagnant growth and financial turmoil.

Jeff Broin, CEO of the nation’s largest ethanol producer, Poet, explains why the industry will actually deliver more fuel this year than last. He’ll also tell us why he thinks the food versus fuel debate was overblown.

Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute and author of Plan B 3.0, talks about why he doesn’t believe ethanol producers are serious about next-generation fuels. He’ll also explain why he thinks electric transport — not biofuels — are the future of transportation.

Finally, Michael Pollan, author of the Omnivore’s Dilemma, talks with Yale Environment 360’s Kate Cheney Davidson about why our love of corn-based ethanol is a symptom of our larger problems related to food production and consumption.

This podcast is sponsored by Solar Power International.

Inside Renewable Energy is a weekly audio news program featuring stories and interviews on all the latest developments in the renewable energy industries.

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I am a reporter with ClimateProgress.org, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in touch through twitter! My profile name is: Stphn_Lacey

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