Skip to comments.Kennedy Links World Food Shortages to U.S. Ethanol Policy
Posted on 05/01/2008 2:14:41 PM PDT by PROCON
On the Spot. (CNSNews.com) - Senators Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) told Cybercast News Service on Wednesday that they believe there is a connection between federally mandated consumption of ethanol, a gasoline additive made from corn, and world food shortages.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandates that increasing amounts of ethanol be used in the United States to dilute gasoline. The law called for 4 billion gallons of ethanol to be used in 2006, 6.1 billion gallons in 2009, and 7.5 billion gallons by 2012.
As the demand for corn has increased because of increased ethanol consumption, the Washington Post reported this week, the number of acres used to grow wheat in the U.S. has contracted, contributing to a shortage of wheat on the world market and an overall increase in world grain prices.
"I think very definitely there is a clear connection between our ethanol use and world hunger," Kennedy told Cybercast News Service . "The connection is becoming more evident and understood more every day by the American people. And they understand that there is very little that's being done to address the problem."
Lieberman, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, told Cybercast News Service that he is going to hold a hearing on the topic on May 7. "I am very concerned about this issue," said Lieberman. "There are a lot of serious questions that have been raised."
When Cybercast News Service asked Lieberman if he thinks federal laws that mandate escalating domestic ethanol consumption ought to be repealed, he said such a solution ought to be considered.
"I think that that may need to be reflected as part of the solution to the problem," he said.
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) expressed a different view.
"I don't see the link between hunger and our requirements that ethanol be mixed into our gasoline," Craig told Cybercast News Service . "We are still exporting food to the world. The world hunger movement is also tied to the environmental movement. Environmentalists have decided that ethanol is bad and so liberals are arguing that it's connected with food and therefore it is all bad. There has to be a balance."
"Ethanol today has brought the price of gas down by 20 cents," Craig said. "American consumers may be paying a little more for food but they are also paying a little less for gas because of ethanol in the market. It's a worthwhile trade. The market is a little distorted at the moment. Let's lower the subsidy on ethanol, and let the market stabilize, but our country is better off today because we are producing ethanol."
Kennedy does his best thinking when he’s drunk and he just proved it.
We at DOW CHEMICAL are making ETHANOL from SUGAR CANE in BRAZIL! Not all ethanol is made from corn, not all ethanol is used as automobile fuel. Our ethanol will be used in PLASTICS, polyurethane. This will NOT upset food production, no one ever ever ever NEEDS to eat sugar cane period!
Shazam! After thousands of statements, the old drunk felon finally lucks out and says something that’s actually correct. Might be a first for the entire family.
NOT ALL ETHANOL IS BAD!!!!
Dow and Crystalsev Announce Plans to Make Polyethylene from Sugar Cane in Brazil
Renewable Resource Used in Production Process Will Significantly Reduce Carbon Footprint
São Paulo, Brazil - July 19, 2007
The Dow Chemical Company, the world’s largest producer of polyethylene, and Crystalsev, one of Brazil’s largest ethanol players have announced plans for a world-scale facility to manufacture polyethylene from sugar cane.
Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding agreed by the two companies, Dow and Crystalsev will form a joint venture in Brazil to design and build the first integrated facility of its scale in the world. It is expected to start production in 2011 and will have a capacity of 350,000 metric tons. The venture will combine Dow’s leading position in polyethylene with Crystalsev’s know-how and experience in ethanol to meet the needs of Dow’s customers in Brazil and what will likely be international interest.
“We are excited to partner with a great company like Crystalsev to build the first world-scale polyethylene facility that will use a renewable feedstock,” said Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow. “This project is a prime example of how Dow’s innovation and industry leadership are creating outstanding opportunities to drive forward our strategic growth agenda in a way that fully supports our 2015 Sustainability Goals commitments.”
The new facility will use ethanol derived from sugar cane, an annually renewable resource, to produce ethylene - the raw material required to make polyethylene, the world’s most widely-used plastic. Ethylene is traditionally produced using either naphtha or natural gas liquids, both of which are petroleum products. It is estimated that the new process will produce significantly less CO2 compared to the traditional polyethylene manufacturing process.
“This joint venture will provide Crystalsev with an excellent opportunity to diversify its businesses through the development of value-added products made from ethanol as part of an environmentally sustainable project,” said Rui Lacerda Ferraz, president of Crystalsev. “This project will bring the optimization of synergies and the creation of new and professional growth opportunities. For such an important enterprise, we could not have found a better partner than Dow, the global leader in the polyethylene market and a company that works with state-of-the-art technology.”
The companies have already begun conducting a feasibility study to assess various aspects of the project, including engineering design, location, infrastructure needs, supply chain logistics, energy and economics. The study, which is expected to take one year, will also look at the possibility of receiving approval for the project and the process as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The CDM was developed by the United Nations to help companies manage their carbon credits from emerging market projects.
The areas being considered as potential sites for the new facility are currently being used for low-density cattle grazing and are not near any rain forests. Both companies have underscored their commitment to ensuring that the plant is located in a sustainable environment.
The new facility will use Dow’s proprietary Solution technology to manufacture DOWLEXT polyethylene resins - the world’s leading linear low density polyethylene, which combines toughness and puncture resistance with high performance and processability. The material offers significant advantages in a range of different applications, including pipes, films, membranes, and food and specialty packaging.
At a molecular level, the joint venture’s product will be identical to the DOWLEXT polyethylene resins manufactured at other Dow facilities. The advantage of this material versus most renewable resource-based plastics is that customers will be using a drop-in replacement made with a renewable resource not a different polymer altogether. Also, like the traditional PE product, the sugar cane-based polyethylene would be fully recyclable using existing infrastructure.
Polyethylene is the most widely used of all plastics and can be found in all manner of everyday products, from food packaging, milk jugs and plastic containers to pipes and liners.
Dow is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of innovation, science and technology to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company offers a broad range of products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $49 billion and employs 43,000 people worldwide. References to Dow or the Company mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.
Dow has operated in Brazil since 1956 when it established a Latin America headquarters in São Paulo. As Dow has expanded, so has its presence in Brazil with 21 locations, including manufacturing plants, business centers and research and development facilities. Dow has 2,100 employees in Brazil.
Crystalsev is a 100% Brazilian group that commercializes products made from sugar cane through three areas: providing of services to mills; commercialization of sugar and alcohol; and trading - purchase, resale and management of assets. The Group produces 1.8 million tons of sugar, which corresponds to 8% of all sugar manufactured in Brazil, and employs 30,000 people. Crystalsev operates in several regions in the country through 13 companies that, together, form the second major producer of sugar cane in Brazil. Its management system is used as a model in the sugar & alcohol industry. For additional information about Crystalsev, please visit www.crystalsev.com.br.
For Editorial Information:
The Dow Chemical Company
The Dow Chemical Company
Adriana Toledo/Rafael Presilli
Ketchum Estratégia Assessoria de Comunicação
Perhaps if Ted would stop drinking ethanol...
I just think it’s funny how we have to feed the whole world at a discount, but Ted’s not asking OPEC to make fuel for the poor more affordable.
The testimony today from the White House Agricultural Economist testified that prices for corn based items including corn fed livestock are up 20% because of ethanol and the other products like Wheat bread is more drought and speculation.
You can count on Sen. Kennedy to keep ethanol out of the gas tanks, and on a shelf near him. After proper aging, of course.
When all else fails they can blame it on global warming
What was growing on that land before they planted sugar cane for ethanol?
Lowering the tariff on Brazilian ethanol imports seems like a good place to start fixing the effect of corn usage on food prices.
So does this mean Kennedy is finally agreeing on those windmills off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard?
Course Kennedy could just be confusing ethenol with corn squeezins.
Greater demand produces higher prices in the short term, greater supply in the long term. But if nations are expanding crop land into presently forested areas, it's hard to see how the carbon savings are going to work.
And if ethanol were such a great option for vehicle fuel, they wouldn't have to "mandate" it, would they?
“Ethanol today has brought the price of gas down by 20 cents,” Craig said. “American consumers may be paying a little more for food but they are also paying a little less for gas because of ethanol in the market.
From another thread:
“Mileage can suffer by about 25 percent with E-85, according to AAA.”
So we save about 5% on the cost of each gallon, but lose 25% in gas mileage - but somehow we still come out ahead? (Until we buy food, then we’re about even). Oh - the guy’s a dem, never mind. Plus, we get to feel good about “saving the environment”.
Taking the effing ethanol out of America's gas tanks would be a better place to start. Attack the problem directly. Federally mandated ethanol usage in fuel is a failure. Federally mandated anything guarantees failure.
The toe-tapper is partly correct. Ethanol does bring down the price than a petroleum based additive but the fuel efficiency is 10% less meaning there is actually a loss of 36 cents per gallon buying the gas and 16 cent per gallon increase in cost.
Depends on what you make it from, does it not?
Corn and Wheat exports was up last year to record levels.
Yet the more we export the more there is a worldwide food shortage caused by the USA using ethanol. Does that make sense?
You’re right. If corn for ethanol is fetching top dollar than more farmers will plant corn. There’ll be fewer acres of wheat and sweet corn and feed corn. The cost of corn based foods will rise. The costs of corn fed livestock will rise and the costs of displaced food crops, like wheat, are going to rise too. All to produce an inefficient, costly and unnecessary government mandated fuel additive.
“Oh - the guys a dem, never mind.”
Nope, he’s an R who likes a little airport bathroom fun.
WTH? Must be raising the price of his malt supply
At a level insufficient to meet rising demand.
Yet the more we export the more there is a worldwide food shortage caused by the USA using ethanol.
Ethanol mandates and ethanol subsidies induce wheat farmers to switch to corn and attract corn from food use to fuel use.
I'm confused. How can corn ethanol bring down the price of gas when it has a lower energy value than the gas it replaces AND costs more per energy unit to produce than the fuel it takes to produce it?
Somebody hep me.
I don’t blame farmers one bit for wanting the most for their product but during the hearing the farmer’s union rep said he wanted the oil companies to not get anymore subsidies. I couldn’t help to think that maybe the farmers also shouldn’t get anymore subsidies since they have chosen to get in the energy business the same way the oil companies are.
“Yet the more we export the more there is a worldwide food shortage caused by the USA using ethanol. Does that make sense?’
Yep, the shortage isn’t from lack of commodities but the PRICE of said commodities are out of range for a growing number of the world’s population.
...and besides that...bring back MTBE! MTBE in the groundwater was a technical issue that could have been solved without the corn ethanol fiasco.
Oh man! Sorry.
Maybe he’s just in it for all the extra corn cobs. Lots easier than potatoes I would imagine (being from Idaho and all).
Did he explain why he voted as he did in 1994?
Did he apologize for that vote? And admit that he (and Algore and the then-Democrat Congress) might've made a mistake?
I though not. Senators and Congressmen are NEVER accountable.
Once Bush made the statement the other day that he supports this policy it was DOA!
MTBE problems were caused by failure of regulations but instead of fixing the problem and punishing the violators they just changed the whole system.
That's a joke, for all of you, you are a socialists types.
A MOMENT OF CLARITY
Yep. Our government has us in a catch 22 and no matter which way we turn there’s no helping or fixing the problems.
Since they haven't done it and are only talking about it, I would say the facts are yet to be proved. Could just be more pie in the sky.
If ethanol is a good idea, then end the federal subsidies and regulations and let the market drive it. Personally, I think it’s a terrible idea, but if the known problems can be solved in a way that it actually contributes to lower costs, better energy efficiency, and longer engine life, then the market will ensure its continued use. As I said, I doubt whether any of these problems can be easily resolved.
As it stands now, it drives up the cost of food, takes more energy to produce than it gives back, decreases the life of engines, and unless properly produced undermines the fertility of agricultural land and the variety of species in the southern hemisphere.
It’s significant that Kennedy has now jumped in on the other side.
I think come November the whole Congress is going to find out just what Americans think.
Once they can’t take a summer vacation because they can’t buy the gasoline, and food is too expensive to eat.
See post 21 - It says exactly what I would say. I’d add that increased fertilizer runoff and corn’s extraordinary thirst for water (The Ogalalla Aquifer is running on empty) makes Corn Ethanol much, much worse than the ‘Problem’ it is designed to address.
You might want to check wheat prices.
So who are you, the Marketing guy?You're not the only plant on the block dude............
"Welcome to Great Lakes Ethanol
Great Lakes Ethanol, LLC (GLE) was organized as a Michigan limited liability company on May 29, 2003 for the purpose of developing, building, and operating a dry mill ethanol plant in southeastern Michigan. "Delivering high quality corn products and customer service from the Great Lakes Region"
Buffyt, where do you suppose Great Lakes Ethanol is getting its products? Certainly not Brazil.............
Why? What do you think they will tell me?
it comes from Brazil, which has always grown sugar cane for it’s own ethanol needs...as an energy independent country now, they can also export the raw material needed to make it here.
Congress doesn’t pay for their own gas so they won’t care until we the people make them care. I would bet that if the MSM took a poll of the number of people who wants domestic drilling for oil, clean coal use, more refineries and use of nuclear power it would easily be 75% for.
Most of the ethanol is used as E10 not as E85, much less than 25%. Besides you have to compare the energy produced not with gasoline but with MBTE and other clean air mandated additives.
Instead of 25% less mileage you are talking more like 3% less mileage so maybe it does work out to a net savings.
“Congress doesnt pay for their own gas so they wont care until we the people make them care. I would bet that if the MSM took a poll of the number of people who wants domestic drilling for oil, clean coal use, more refineries and use of nuclear power it would easily be 75% for.”
Maybe everyone should start calling congress until they act.
The price of wheat is well off its prior highs. In fact, most contracts are now at their low.