No mention is made in this article of the huge amount of petrochemical inputs required both for large-scale farming of corn and for the distilling process required to produce ethanol. When these and other environmental costs are factored in, the promotion of corn-based ethanol as fuel will ultimately be exposed as an environmentally disastrous policy.

C. Greenwood
Sacramento, Calif.

The article begs the question: Are biofuels well suited to provide a significant portion of our nation’s energy pie? I think the answer is yes, but another approach is needed. We would do well to look to New Zealand, South Africa, and parts of the United States, where the extraction of biofuels from algae grown on wastewater streams is being pioneered. Extremely prolific and among the highest oil-yielding plants on earth, algae can, without competition for arable land, feed off wastewater from cities, farms, and other provenances and serve as raw material for fuel.

Thomas Sullivan
Vineyard Haven, Mass.