From the Pipe to the Pump

According the the article posted by The Associated Press, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gwG2QrIRwFOGfUfd9O44LdvBtbSwD9EME4O80, tobacco is a possible bio-fuel.  The article goes on to talk about how it’s potential is great due to it’s “high-quality leaf” and because the market for it in cigarettes is dwindling.  So this blog will be about how tobacco will be a good potential bio-fuel but also how it might conflict with current demands.

Another reason that tobacco would be a good bio-fuel is because there is already a history of tobacco in the US as a cash crop.  Tobacco has been a cash crop for a long time and therefore the US has the capacity to grow large amounts of it and the farmers will be able to get right back on the band wagon and produce the crop.  However, a lot of the farmers have probably moved on and started growing other cash crops, and therefore if they go back to growing tobacco then it could affect the production of a food crop such as corn or wheat.

According to the same article referenced above, “the number of cigarettes sold in the U.S. declined about 8 percent in 2009 compared with a year earlier.”  This is a dramatic decrease in one year which is largely due the numerous smoking bans enacted around that time.  This wikipedia page lists various smoking bans in the US, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_smoking_bans_in_the_United_States, and according to it most states have enacted bans that keep people from smoking in most public buildings.  I don’t see the demand for tobacco cigarettes decreasing that much more in the near future because it seems like bans have already taken away all of the possible places for a smoker to smoke.  So if more people were going to stop then we would have seen a more drastic decrease in the percentage of tobacco cigarette sales.  Therefore, the demand for tobacco to be produced for cigarettes would clash with that of production for it as a bio-fuel.

Overall, if tobacco cease to exist as a consumption type crop then it is possible that it could thrive as a bio-fuel crop.

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