Worst Case Scenario Unlikely; Research Questioned

WASHINGTON, DC – A documented critic of ethanol whose research practices have been refuted in the past as imbalanced and oversimplified is again generating media attention based on another study that repeats many of his earlier assertions.

In a statement below, Growth Energy spokesman Chris Thorne dismissed the latest research of Mark Jacobson, of Stanford University, which is being used in a new report by a Stanford graduate student.

“Unfortunately for Mr. Jacobson, his past practices throw his latest numbers into doubt. It is well documented that Mr. Jacobson has a thesis against renewable, sustainable ethanol production in this country, and it is well documented that he has fixed his quantitative analysis against ethanol in his past reports. We expect no different findings – imbalanced, oversimplified and weighted to the point of extreme – in this newest report,” Thorne said.

“It is true that his words are provocative, but as recently as this year, a careful analysis of his work has shown that he relies on flawed science and unfortunately questionable logic. If we’re going to put claims out there and say they are based on science, it’s usually better to have the science conducted so it can withstand scrutiny,” Thorne said.

The graduate student who released today’s paper used Jacobson’s data as the basis to examine ozone levels; in the theory outlined, all the cars in the Los Angeles region would suddenly revert to using E85, an entirely implausible event. Further, the study claims that ground-level ozone would be present during winter months, when in fact ground-level ozone requires higher air temperatures.

The questionable Jacobson modeling also failed to calculate the reduction in carbon emissions related to the increase in ethanol, gives wind-generated electricity three times the potential estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy, and suggests carbon savings from a yet-undeveloped battery technology.


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 GrowthEnergy.org.