Future for non-food ethanol in the U.S. is murky

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a story about how three large plants that produce cellulosic ethanol — fuel made from inedible parts of corn like the cob — could be the last for a while.

“Wavering U.S. policy on renewable fuels and the North American oil boom cast a shadow over the commercial triumph,” the story says. “The next big cellulosic ethanol plants are planned or being built in Brazil, not the United States. Although the U.S. government has spent more than $1 billion to develop cellulosic technology, industry executives recently wrote to President Barack Obama that other countries, including China, could “reap the economic and environmental rewards of technologies pioneered in America.”