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Growing Energy

Assessment Model Print

Okay Problem-Solution

In this fair problem-solution essay, a student addresses the problem of climate change by suggesting an alternative fuel source.

Title: Growing Energy

Level: Grade 11, Grade 12

Mode: Persuasive Writing

Form: Problem-Solution

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Student Model

Growing Energy

We have all kinds of problems in this world. We have global warming. We have wars for oil. We have an economy that needs jobs. We could kill three birds with one stone if we just used ethanol more than gasoline. Ethanol is a cheap fuel from corn that can solve a lot of problems, which is probably why the oil people hate it so much.

Ethanol is a clean alternative for energy in cars and factories. Ethyl is an alcohol fuel that comes from plant material. Ethanol keeps engines clean and works better than gasoline. Growthenergy.org writes that, “Ethanol is a clean-burning, high-octane fuel that reduces emissions and helps keep your engine clean.” Ethanol is mixed in with gasoline to create E15, a mixture of 85 percent gasoline and 15 percent ethanol. E15 was a mandate created by the government to eliminate some carbon emissions. “Ethanol has a positive energy balance—that is, the energy content of ethanol is greater than the fossil energy used to produce it—and this balance is constantly improving with new technologies” according to the U.S. Government. Ethyl should replace gasoline as the America’s primary source of fuel.

What about other green energy? What about wind energy? Well, did you ever see a car with sails on it or with windmills? So, that's out. Also, you can't get hydrothermal into a car unless it is going over a dam. What about solar cars? They run great while the sun shines, but good luck getting anywhere at night. What about electric cars? They work on batteries, which are bad in a landfill. Also, they have to get their energy from somewhere, and if they get it from a coal-powered plant, that just makes pollution worse.

Most cars can already use straight ethanol. Many cars already have a sign on the back with the words “Flex Fuel.” This means that a car can already take ethanol instead of gasoline for fuel. Most cars without flex fuel badges can still use ethyl. The only reason a car would not be able to take ethyl alcohol is because the car’s creators have built in a program to reject it. Many car companies work with oil companies to make sure ethanol isn’t used.

Of course the oil companies don't want gasoline to get replaced by ethanol. That's why they spread lies about ethanol. They say you have to burn gas to make ethanol, which is true, but still the amount of carbon made is less than the amount taken out of the air by the growing corn. They say ethanol uses corn that should feed Americans. But too much corn syrup makes Americans obese. Turn some of that corn syrup into ethanol, and Americans will run leaner and so will there cars. They say making ethanol makes the price of food go up, but that's ridiculous. Food prices just go up. They go up for all kinds of reasons, but ethanol isn't one of them. The only reason for spreading these lies is so that ethanol doesn't replace gasoline.

If America wants to have clean energy, it should use ethanol. The U.S. already produces the most ethanol in the world. And it's all homegrown. Ethanol is the best way to create cleaner energy in America. We can band together for a cleaner environment.

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