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Ethanol v. Aquifers (Oct 08, 2007)
Last month, it was announced that construction will soon begin on Oklahoma’s first ethanol plant, in the northern Oklahoma city of Blackwell. Farmers and scientists are hopeful that facility and others like it could present new economic prospects for rural Oklahoma, but they’re also concerned about possible environmental challenges.

Take, for example, the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world’s largest underground reservoirs. It lies beneath eight Great Plains states, and supports irrigated agriculture in the Oklahoma Panhandle. But a new study says a boom of corn-based ethanol is draining water from the aquifer and could spell trouble in the future. From Washington, Todd Zwillich reports. Guests include Tim Male of Environmental Defense, Oklahoma Republican Congressman Tom Cole and US Representative Frank Lucas.

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