Study: Fossil Fuels Have Hidden Health Costs

WASHINGTON – A recently-released study by the National Academy of Sciences examining the hidden health costs of energy concluded that corn ethanol produced fewer health threats than electric cars dependent on fossil fuel-fired power plants, and that second-generation ethanol produced dramatically lower health threats than almost any other transportation fuel.

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, released the following statement today:

“Apples to apples, ethanol proves itself the best alternative to both gasoline and electric-driven vehicles, considering the greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuels such as crude oil, or in the case of plug-in cars, coal. What may surprise some is the report’s conclusion that electric vehicles showed higher rates of damage than corn ethanol both because electricity-generation depends on fossil fuels and because of the cost and energy put into creating the battery.

“Second-generation ethanol, such as that made from corn stover or switchgrass, had some of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions – lower than electric cars and much lower than gasoline. And although the study found E85 from corn grain ethanol had similar impacts to gasoline, that is rapidly changing as the efficiency of producing corn-ethanol improves and oil is increasingly taken from more environmentally-damaging sources like tar sands and oil shale. Domestic ethanol is our best alternative to gasoline refined from oil. It creates U.S. jobs, it makes the U.S. less dependent on foreign sources of energy, and best of all, it gets cleaner and greener every year with advances in fuel and farm technology.”

A link to a NAS news release announcing the study can be found here:


About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at