Columbus is host to the National Hockey League All Star game this week-end. The NHL showcase will bring thousands fans and visitors to the city as well as international media attention.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol says part of State Route 104 will remain closed through Thursday after a tanker crash sent about 2,000 gallons of ethanol into a nearby stream.
There’s a new refinery in Bloomingburg, Ohio. It’s an ethanol plant just outside the village of 900 people. Much of the major ingredient for producing ethanol – corn – will come from area farms. But there’s an ongoing debate about whether the energy used to produce ethanol makes it an efficient gasoline additive.
At the grocery store and at the gas station, consumers are paying more this year for food and fuel. As a result, farmers in Ohio and across the United States face a critical financial choice as another growing season approaches. At issue: whether they should produce food or energy.
The home grown Biofuel ethanol has been taking a lot of flack lately. Questions are growing about its environmental sustainability, whether it’s causing higher food prices, and how much of it will help the U.S. move toward energy independence. Acting U.S. Agriculture Secretary Chuck Connor, in Columbus Wednesday to address the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, tried to lay some of the doubts about ethanol to rest.
Ohio farmers apparently will follow a national trend this spring. They say they’ll plant about 15% more acres in corn this year — a move spurred mostly by the demand for ethanol. But some Fayette County farmers have been rethinking their spring planting decisions.
Development officials in northwest Ohio say plans for a new ethanol plant in Defiance County are on hold.<
Construction will begin soon on another ethanol plant in Ohio. Governor Taft praised the project’s future economic benefits this week at a groundbreaking. Ethanol’s proponents say it’s a major solution to America’s petroleum dilemma. Critics, though, say it’s too expensive and requires too much energy to produce to be a viable alternative.
The federal government is focusing attention on research and development of ethanol. And the states are getting into the act too. The state of Ohio is considering a proposal to increase the amount of ethanol available to drivers. But even with that plan, Ohio is way behind other states in developing this alternative fuel.
The US Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on an agreement with the livestock industry that it says will reduce air pollution from so-called factory farms. In Ohio there are about 140 of these farms including the Buckeye Egg Farm and large dairies and hog operations. But not everyone thinks it’s a good deal.
It’s rare when a factory and a mega-farm can help reduce pollution. A project planned for Harrison County promises just that. The project would produce a fuel additive that reduces air pollution, provide a market for Ohio farm goods, create scores of jobs all while not harming the environment. The project is getting millions of dollars of help from the state and federal governments. But some people doubt the project will accomplish all it promises.