Daily Digest: is ethanol really all it’s cracked up to be?

Courtney Sinner

It’s another chilly one outside, so cross your fingers that we get another warm-up late in the week. Until then, curl up and read some news!


* A newly released U study looked at the economic and environmental impacts of traditional gasoline, corn-based ethanol, and cellulosic (plant-based) ethanol and discovered that corn-based ethanol, a huge Minnesota industry, is just as bad for the environment (and costs just as much to make, in some cases, more) as traditional gasoline. Cellulosic enthanol came out on top as the only viable long-term option, but researchers say we’re still a long ways out from having it become mainstream. Interestingly enough, different news outlets focused on different aspects: the Star Tribune found that the Minnesota ethanol industry isn’t happy about constantly being "bashed" by studies at the U, while the U’s news service, of course, focused on the positive and reseased a statement regarding the discovery that cellulosic enthanol is the best option. On CCO radio’s morning show today, they talked to Jason Hill, who was one of the researchers, and he said they were trying to learn more about the "next generation" of ethanol (cellulosic) and compare both of them to gasoline, not that they were trying to "come down hard on ethanol." You can listen to that clip here.


* The U’s "serial groper" is back in full swing, it seems. The Star Tribune reported last night that the same man who groped two women last week had been accused twice more in the last two days. The Daily is following up, if you didn’t notice the big breaking news banner on the website.


* In event and economic news, the U’s Humphrey Institute is hosting a panel tomorrow (Wednesday) about managing the current financial crisis, titled "The Local and National Economies: Light at the End of the Tunnel?" and featuring five financial experts from the U and around the state. It’s free and open to the public — view details here.


* Finally, on a somewhat lighter note, check out this in-depth project on North Minneapolis on MinnPost.com — courtesy of Daily-ites Karlee Weinmann and Andy Mannix.


That’s all I’ve got for today, folks. Hope it’s a good one.


Courtney Sinner

Campus Editor