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A. A Longstanding Debate over Ethanol Production Settled?

Narrator: This is Science Today. There's been a longstanding debate over whether or not corn-based ethanol is a good, energy efficient substitute for gasoline. Now, a new University of California , Berkeley analysis of six separate high-profile studies of ethanol attempts to settle this ongoing debate. Dan Kammen of the Energy and Resources Group, led the study.

Kammen: We took the six most prominent models out there, reproduced what they do and standardized it in ways that were based on what is agreed to be the best available data and then looked at the author's findings.

Narrator: Kammen says all findings were pretty consistent, except when it came to the result that ethanol was not positive on the energy balance. Kammen says that result used a value for energy required to make farm equipment that's more than the order magnitude larger than anybody else's.

Kammen: And that result we tracked back to our literature and it's just not substantiated. So, we believe that this report actually settles a debate and that conclusion is that ethanol made from corn offsets gasoline and it does it significantly.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.