A University of California-Berkeley researcher says ethanol and biodiesel are not worth the energy and tax dollars spent to produce the stuff, a point disputed by agriculture officials in this state. Berkeley Professor of Petroleum Engineering Tad Patzek says we would be much better off cutting use of oil by 50% through doubling the fuel efficiency of vehicles and using alternative sources of power such as solar and wind than pushing bio-fuels.But Tony Stafford with the Missouri Department of Agriculture says Patzek’s numbers are based on old data, and the tax dollars given to get plants up and running in this state are paying dividends, including more than $17 million in tax revenues from just two of three ethanol plants in Missouri. Stafford points out that Patzek has worked for the oil industry in the past. Patzek admits he has done a lot of research funded by big oil but points out his ideas don’t make that industry very happy either.
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