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The affects of no rainfall as seen here in Death Valley National Park.

Drought conditions may raise ethanol costs in the near future

The negative implications of drought may reach the gas pump as ethanol-producing crops across the country have felt the effects of a reduction in water. You may think, "Why does this affect the gas pump?" Well, that is because much of the gasoline distributed today is blended with about 10% ethanol. Since 1970, ethanol has been added to most fuels as an octane enhancer, as it was considered to be more environmentally sound than lead. In addition, the 1990 Clean Air Act is widely responsible for the increased usage of ethanol in gasoline because the ethanol's oxygen helps to reduce tailpipe carbon monoxide emissions by promoting a more complete combustion of the fuel. As the use of ethanol has gradually increased over the last 40 years, so has the size of the crops, and drought makes it hard to sustain these crops at an affordable rate. Ultimately, choices will have to be made as whether to focus on growing food supplies or fuel supplies. Either way, as a result of the drought, it is very likely that the future will see an increase in the price of both.