Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hungry? drink ethanol

The result of stupid energy policy is starvation for poor third-worlders.

The U.S. is paying large subsidies for ethanol, which means that the price of corn has more than doubled as demand has increased. Crop land that can be planted in corn is being switched from other crops. Corn used for food and feed is being used to make ethanol. Grains that could be used for food and feed are not being grown in deference to ethanol. It is almost criminal what Congress has done in support of a dubious fuel.

One gallon of ethanol requires 1.35 gallons of fossil fuel to produce; that is the fuel used to plant, cultivate, harvest and manufacture. Not a lot of gain there. On top of that the carbon footprint of ethanol production may be greater than that of gasoline; the science is far from conclusive either way. What is environmentally sound about this practice? It is merely a case of farmers gaining money, and environmentalists getting warm fuzzies, at the expense of everyone else in this country, and now it appears, the rest of the world.

It is time to revisit a stupid energy plan. Ethanol subsidies should be eliminated. Let the market determine if this is a viable fuel option.

End of rant.

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