Corn-based ethanol, long seen as a boon for clean energy, is severely damaging the environment, an Associated Press investigation released Wednesday found. Farmers clamoring to cash in on government ethanol mandates have wiped out over five million acres of land once set aside for conservation, polluted water supplies, and destroyed habitats. The mass use of fertilizer by farmers also contributed to the expanding dead zone killing marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. Despite environmentalists and scientists now declaring corn-based ethanol bad for the environment, the Obama administration has continued to support it as an alternative energy source, pointing to its economic impact for farmers. The report met with fierce resistance from the ethanol industry, as Congress is now reviewing a mandate that requires oil companies to blend ethanol into their gasoline.
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