The plane from which D.B. Cooper jumped (
by Dan Burns
Jun 12, 2023, 8:30 AM

We should not be using corn for jet fuel

This unfortunate maneuver, not that it’s necessarily likely to amount to much, hasn’t garnered a lot of attention, yet.

However, there’s not much of the (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) around. The alternative makes up only a sliver of the overall jet fuel produced and used in the U.S., prompting the federal government to try to grow the industry. Delta and Gov. Tim Walz want that growth to happen in Minnesota, inspiring a successful last-minute push at the Legislature for $11.6 million to effectively double new federal tax breaks in an effort to spark a local hub for cleaner aviation fuels.

The governor and other supporters argue incentives for a burgeoning industry can slash emissions, create jobs and provide a future for Minnesota’s large biofuels sector as electric vehicles become a larger share of ground transportation, displacing ethanol and biodiesel.

But the tax break, and the sources of potential alternative jet fuel, are not without controversy among other DFL lawmakers and environmental advocates who say Delta doesn’t need to benefit from taxpayer money to shrink its carbon footprint and who worry corn and soybeans grown for biofuels do more environmental harm than good.

If you click and read, you’ll see a lot of starry-eyed stuff from backers about how SAF can be made from anything, and is so much “cleaner,” etc., etc. Same as we saw when Big Ethanol was being launched.

Here are some realities of what Big Ethanol has really been, and continues to be, all about:

– It’s an ongoing environmental disaster.

– It hasn’t led to any kind of “energy independence.”

– It enables the shameless greedheads of Big Ag.

Among the banes of humanity is widespread refusal to rationally assess evidence and learn from past mistakes. I don’t claim to be perfect, myself. But we can certainly expect elected officials to know better than this, and try to influence them that way.

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