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News Service asked Lieberman if he thinks federal laws that mandate escalating domestic ethanol consumption ought to be repealed, he said such a solution ought to be considered.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."
Ok, then it should work without the tax payers footing part of the bill, remove the subsidy.
When the Federal Reserve is ready to stop its campaign to punish thrift, you’ll see the value of farm commodities, as well as the value of all other commodities return to more historic values.
Why would you defend Kennedy? He and his ilk caused the current energy crisis by blocking everything from windmills to offshore drilling to nuclear energy. He and his ilk are the problem.. He should resign. Ethanol has nothing to do with the fact that shipping costs have trebled in the past 2 years.
Ethanol is mixed with gasoline. I suppose you could use it alone (maybe with a sterling engine or the like).
Good post. Also looks like the US could put more land into production. We can easily increase 10% more than we now use. Supply is elastic in this case, even in land, which of course does have ultimate limits.
Some times it takes gringos longer.........
What is the net savings of removing income from islamofascists? I think it matters. And don’t tell me that just because the US doesn’t use that much middle east oil it doesn’t matter. World oil demand is fungible.
There is no link whatsoever.
What is "rain forest", Alex?
Can’t agree more. He probably had a Manhathanol in his hand and said “What are you people doing using this for fuel, it’s for drinking”.
You answered your own question. The united states buying fuel on the world market and selling it for 33 cents a gallon in Iraq is damn sure keeping it away from (your word) islamofacists.
Oh, it helps, if you reference what in the He** you are addressing that I said.
Future market in wheat/grain has more to do with expectation of current growth and weather conditions. For crop currently in the ground. Plus, India has said they have a huge crop.
nor I, however I often drive out to a country station (NC) that caters to farmers and rural types and the pump does say “10% ethanol.”
Who the hell said anything about oil ds.
Actually at the current price of oil I can’t disagree. Even with the higher price of corn, Ethanol should be cheaper than gasoline at these prices.
Do away with the subsidies and forget about E85 (at least for now) and maybe ethanol will survive in the current political climate.