Skip to comments.Surging food prices fuel ethanol critics
Posted on 04/17/2011 9:18:25 AM PDT by george76
A surge in global food prices has prompted fresh criticism of US subsidies for ethanol, which diverts massive amounts of corn from global food supplies for energy.
Senators Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, and Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, introduced a measure last month to scrap the tax credit of 45 cents per gallon for ethanol in gasoline.
"The ethanol tax credit is bad economic policy, bad energy policy and bad environmental policy. The $6 billion we waste every year on corporate welfare should instead stay in taxpayers' pockets where it can be used to spur innovation, stimulate growth and create jobs," said Coburn.
The lawmakers cited a Government Accountability Office report describing the tax credit as "largely unneeded today to ensure demand for domestic ethanol production."
C. Ford Runge, a University of Minnesota professor of applied economics and law, argues that ethanol from crops has many "hidden costs" that should dissuade the government from subsidies.
Runge, who raised concerns about ethanol policy as early as 2007, says his research suggests some 30 percent of food price increases come from diversion of US corn for ethanol.
"If you're taking 40 percent of the US corn crop, the largest of any country on earth, and putting it to one use... you don't have to have a Ph.D in economics to know that's going to put upward pressure on prices," he told AFP.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Some refuse to admit the obvious. They are the same ones out to destroy the US and are doing a very good job of it.
Not to mention the ground water that is wasted. What an insane policy..
It would make my day if ethanol would disappear! I would do a happy dance. Right now we can still buy real gas, but I hate it when we are in other states and are forced to use that stuff. How is it that something that gives worse gas mileage, ruins engines, and pollutes MORE than real gas is still being produced and promoted?
The environuts are destroying our world. Maybe that is their real goal - to rid the world of excess population, as Scrooge would put it. They have even made it harder for asthmatics to breathe by taking CFCs out of inhalers. The new ones are more expensive and useless. I don’t even fill my prescription even more and have to break out the nebulizer if I need it.
True however if you are too inept to be any damn good at anything else you become a liberal politician.
If you start out with your head stuck up your a$$, you train to be a politician by becoming a community organizer first.
Everything gets better and cheaper over time, except where the government gets invoved.
Gas is worse and more expensive since the govt forced us to burn food instead of eat it.
If people really wanted to do something about wasting water, we’d outlaw golf courses and lawns.
It shouldn’t take a University professor to state that my food should be on my plate instead of in my car. Still, I’m glad someone has figured it out.
Hannibal Lecter says environmentalists taste like chicken. Send them to the poor countries.
The soaring food prices are the result of the high price of fuel that is used to produce, harvest and process/transport the food products. The price of everything including toilet paper is up because of fuel prices and it’s not because wood chips are used to make alcohol (which they are). If the amount of human consumable food product that is used to make alcohol for fuel was to immediately be shifted to food products the affect of price and availability of food would be insignificant. It’s the taxes, lack of drilling and exploitation of our own resources that are driving high prices.
Yeah; a good part of the reason why last week I was able to buy a $5 sack of cracked corn on sale for "just" $10.99.
As for all those "by products are used for animal feed", then why aren't feed prices going DOWN, instead of up, Mr Renewable Fuels Association President?
This is why I'm planting a "large" plot of corn (plus small plots of wheat, oats, and barley) this year, to supplement my chicken feed over next winter. Means more work; means more water usage; means having to store it.
Maybe I can also get something back by (don't tell the EPA!) burning the corn cobs to supplement the home heating...and if Obamanomics keeps going, also use them instead of $5/roll toilet paper next year.
I’m in favor of dropping ethanol subsidies, but I think the 40% number is overstated. Biodiesel is a good example, even with the $1/gallon subsidy farmers can get more money selling their soybeans for food than for fuel, thus more half of the soy biodiesel plants are idle. That’s the way it should work - let the market decide (without gov’t intervention). Yet the gov’t HAS intervened, in setting Renewable Fuel Standards - mandating how much fuel must come from renewable sources.
And here is the rest of the story. Current engines can burn a 10% mixture - E10 ethanol - and even if every gallon of fuel sold were E10, that means we’d need 12.6 billion gallons of ethanol per year. Guess what? We’ve already got that much plant capacity. The “blend wall” is a limiting factor. See this article for more details:
I don't know if you'd accept "Forbes" as a source and I can't even give you a link but it's on page 14 of the April 25 th print edition - 40%.
I've had the April 25th issue for about a week now, I don't know why they date them so far ahead.
Corn ethanol will not work without massive government subsidies from seed to gas pump. Without these subsidies ethanol blended fuels will be even more expensive than regular gasoline and the market will quickly abandon ethanol fuels.
They're a lot like Free Republic's clocks.
Horrible, isn’t it? I have writeen to both my senators (both very conservative) and did not even receive a reply. There is a website for folks who want to get the old inhalers back, but it doesn’t seem they are making any progress.
” Horrible, isnt it? I have writeen to both my senators (both very conservative) and did not even receive a reply. There is a website for folks who want to get the old inhalers back, but it doesnt seem they are making any progress. “
That’s because even Congress doesn’t dare meddle in the affairs of the all-powerful EPA...
(For months, now, I’ve had problems with my Combi-Vent inhaler running out of propellant before the month runs out - The VA pharmacists tried to tell me that it was my fault, and I’d just have to do without until the prescription came due for refill... Now I’m wondering if it isn’t the non-CFC propellant that’s causing my problem?? I also hate the nebulizer, which ties me up so I can’t do anything else for that half-hour 3 or 4 times/day)
“The VA pharmacists tried to tell me that it was my fault, and Id just have to do without until the prescription came due for refill.”
Ah, yes, the compassion of government health care. Those inhalers are useless. I have heard that there are portable nebulizers, but I haven’t looked into it. Hope you are OK.
I’m still scratching my head over how putting 10% ethanol in my gasoline,
that then gives me 10% less fuel economy, makes me less dependent on arab oil.
” Hope you are OK. “
I’ve been doing pick ‘n’ shovel work turning over my substantially enlarged garden, and I’m slowly rebuilding lung capacity (cancer survivor- lots of scar tissue in my lungs from the radiation treatments) - sometimes I can get away with just one nebulizer session for the whole day....
Hate to admit that my Dad was right all those years - ‘hard work is the best medicine’... ;)
Thus, 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in it.
If it takes one gallon of gas to make one gallon of worthless ethanol, then this game does nothing for our dependency on arab oil
This is all deliberate and purposeful.
I agree that it's insane policy, for all the reasons listed above. That said, the "uses too much water" argument is irrelevant here in Iowa. We're not short on water here, and it's not like the water becomes something other than water in the process. This is not by any means a defense of our idiotic ethanol policy, though.
Angry Ben Cardin is doing the right thing for a change? Hell just froze over.
However, Cardin and Coburn can forget about running for President. Iowa, you know.
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
MTBE was just fine as an additive and we didn’t have to use food for fuel.
Corn-based ethanol is an economic, environmental, and moral disaster. If there is anything that the left and right should agree on, it is corn-based ethanol.
“Corn-based ethanol is an economic, environmental, and moral disaster.”
OTOH, cellulose-based methanol may be a win-win. I’ve become a substantial shareholder of this company:
It’s the real deal. DYODD.
One-half gallon of oil in the form of pesticides per bushel of corn would cost $2 to $3 per bushel. If this were true -- and it clearly isn't -- it should be enough to illustrate to literally anyone that the price of petroleum is quite literally the ONLY thing driving corn prices. And this idiotic piece of agitprop -- from a hydrogen "energy" advocacy site -- also shows the guy in the encounter suit spraying chemical fertilizer, a sight that I've never been privileged to see, what with me *growing up on a farm*.