Consumer Reports has a story in the Oct. '06 issue called "The Ethanol Myth." This report focuses on the flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) that the auto companies are pushing. Here are some points, some pro, most con, from the article:
"E85...emits less smog-causing pollutants than gasoline, but provides fewer miles per gallon, costs more, and is hard to find outside the Midwest."
"Government support for FFVs...is indirectly causing more gasoline consumption rather than less."
"The FFV surge is being motivated by generous fuel-economy credits that auto makers get for every FFV they build, even if never runs on E85." (This is related to the CAFE standards.)
"FFV engines are designed to run more efficiently on gasoline."
"Most recent studies have shown a positive energy balance for ethanol--between 23 and 40 percent."
Regarding greenhouse gas emissions: Some studies show an "8 to 15 percent reduction per mile for ethanol. Another study shows that "equivalent CO2 emissions from corn ethanol are 50 percent higher than those from gasoline."
"Even with the most optimistic estimates, ethanol on its own will never be able to provide Americans with energy independence."
Of course, Bush is touting ethanol in many recent speeches. More big lies on behalf of his buddies in the energy industry!