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Kennedy Links World Food Shortages to U.S. Ethanol Policy
CNSNEWS.com ^ | May 1, 2008 | Josiah Ryan

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News Service asked Lieberman if he thinks federal laws that mandate escalating domestic ethanol consumption ought to be repealed, he said such a solution ought to be considered.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."


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To: stockpirate

I think it would be too cool if some Senator or Rep proposed a bill for congress members to pay for their own gas. It would be very telling for the American people to see who would vote against that.


51 posted on 05/01/2008 2:58:42 PM PDT by tobyhill (The media lies so much the truth is the exception)
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To: Mr. Lucky
So the article is wrong to say this:

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.

52 posted on 05/01/2008 2:58:57 PM PDT by Petronski (When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth, voting for Hillary.)
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To: Da Coyote
“...the old drunk felon finally lucks out and says something that’s actually correct...”

well, after hundreds of notables have publicly made the case, he finally gets the picture. Hallelujah!!!

53 posted on 05/01/2008 2:59:08 PM PDT by elpadre
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To: L98Fiero

And why is the price of commodities going up while the supply is increasing? If the World has a problem with the price of our corn then why are they buying more every year?


54 posted on 05/01/2008 2:59:26 PM PDT by Swiss
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To: Petronski
Imagine that. The Washington Post is not a credible source of farm news.
55 posted on 05/01/2008 3:01:21 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Petronski

According to the USDA they planted about the same amount of Wheat acres last year as before.

http://www.cbot.com/cbot/pub/static/files/snd_cbt.pdf


56 posted on 05/01/2008 3:07:54 PM PDT by Swiss
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To: 21twelve

“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.”

Is this idiot delusional or WHAT?


57 posted on 05/01/2008 3:08:26 PM PDT by Right Cal Gal (Abraham Lincoln would have let Berkeley leave the Union without a fight)
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To: Mr. Lucky; Swiss

Imagine that: another internet theory crushed.

Thanks for the data.


58 posted on 05/01/2008 3:10:05 PM PDT by Petronski (When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth, voting for Hillary.)
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To: elpadre

Plus, just how many of the cars currently on the road in America can actually USE ethanol anyway? I live in Northern California, and I have yet to see a pump dispensing ethanol in my state (I do not argue they don’t exist, but I travel a pretty hefty portion of major interstates, yet I’ve never, ever seen ethanol for sale).


59 posted on 05/01/2008 3:11:46 PM PDT by Right Cal Gal (Abraham Lincoln would have let Berkeley leave the Union without a fight)
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To: PROCON
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) expressed a different view.

In fact, one might say he takes an entirely different stance.

60 posted on 05/01/2008 3:13:23 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: Swiss
Instead of 25% less mileage you are talking more like 3% less mileage so maybe it does work out to a net savings.

Ok, then it should work without the tax payers footing part of the bill, remove the subsidy.

61 posted on 05/01/2008 3:14:27 PM PDT by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: Petronski

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.


62 posted on 05/01/2008 3:30:27 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: PROCON
Photobucket

Looks to me like old Teddy has eaten more than his share of the world's food supply.

63 posted on 05/01/2008 3:41:37 PM PDT by vortigern (McCain hasn't given me one good reason to support him)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

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.


64 posted on 05/01/2008 3:42:49 PM PDT by Shanty Shaker
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To: Right Cal Gal

Ethanol is mixed with gasoline. I suppose you could use it alone (maybe with a sterling engine or the like).


65 posted on 05/01/2008 3:45:09 PM PDT by RKV (He who has the guns makes the rules)
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To: Swiss

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.

http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/EIB14/eib14d.pdf


66 posted on 05/01/2008 3:53:36 PM PDT by RKV (He who has the guns makes the rules)
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To: buffyt
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!

Photobucket

67 posted on 05/01/2008 3:56:12 PM PDT by Cobra64 (www.BulletBras.net)
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To: PROCON

Some times it takes gringos longer.........


68 posted on 05/01/2008 3:58:43 PM PDT by EggsAckley
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To: org.whodat

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.


69 posted on 05/01/2008 3:59:11 PM PDT by RKV (He who has the guns makes the rules)
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To: PROCON

There is no link whatsoever.


70 posted on 05/01/2008 4:03:10 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: pgkdan
What was growing on that land before they planted sugar cane for ethanol?

What is "rain forest", Alex?

71 posted on 05/01/2008 4:10:16 PM PDT by Squeako (Obama because he's black, Clinton because she's a woman, McCain because he's a Vet/POW. No thanks.)
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To: buffyt

NOT ALL ETHANOL IS BAD!!!

72 posted on 05/01/2008 4:19:04 PM PDT by gitmo (From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.)
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To: tobyhill

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”.


73 posted on 05/01/2008 4:21:11 PM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie
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To: RKV
World oil demand is fungible.

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.

74 posted on 05/01/2008 4:21:43 PM PDT by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: RKV

Oh, it helps, if you reference what in the He** you are addressing that I said.


75 posted on 05/01/2008 4:23:44 PM PDT by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: Mr. Lucky
The price of wheat is well off its prior highs. In fact, most contracts are now at their low.

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.

76 posted on 05/01/2008 4:27:42 PM PDT by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: Right Cal Gal

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.”


77 posted on 05/01/2008 4:44:35 PM PDT by elpadre
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To: org.whodat

Who the hell said anything about oil ds.


78 posted on 05/01/2008 5:22:46 PM PDT by RKV (He who has the guns makes the rules)
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To: org.whodat

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.


79 posted on 05/01/2008 5:33:53 PM PDT by Swiss
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To: Alright_on_the_LeftCoast

Wrong answer.


80 posted on 05/01/2008 5:38:40 PM PDT by pgkdan (Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions - G.K. Chesterton)
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To: buffyt

I wonder what kind of additive packages will DOW put into this PE to keep it stable...antioxidants etc. Can you use the same packages you have today so that extractables/leachables will not be an issue? If so, wonderful going!! Will these PE materials be gamma stable?


81 posted on 05/01/2008 5:41:10 PM PDT by GRRRRR (2008- A Year That Will Live in Infamy...)
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To: PROCON

I believe there is a connection between federally mandated consumption of ethanol, a gasoline additive made from corn, and my boat engine issues.


82 posted on 05/01/2008 5:41:46 PM PDT by CJ Wolf
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To: PROCON

Teddy should know he is quite the ethanol consumer...


83 posted on 05/01/2008 5:45:31 PM PDT by MD_Willington_1976
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To: TCats
increased fertilizer runoff and corn’s extraordinary thirst for water

Personally I prefer butanol over ethanol as a gasoline substitute and/or additive but it is not ethanol that is the problem. The problem is that we are using a plant that is about as low as you can get on the old totem pole as far as energy yield per acre goes. Is this a big secret? No. Is there big money changing hands somewhere? You can bank on it.
84 posted on 05/01/2008 6:12:36 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: RKV
Also looks like the US could put more land into production.

One thing that is being looked into now is decreasing the distance between rows to plant more per acre. Tractors do not need as much room between plants as oxen but the standard width remained the same as all these years.
85 posted on 05/01/2008 7:00:43 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: org.whodat

I was looking at the contract for May, 2008, delivery.


86 posted on 05/02/2008 6:53:50 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Shanty Shaker
Oh, I know Teddy Kennedy is in multiplex ways "the problem." I'm not commenting on the rest of his sordid career. I'm just saying that government mandates that both require increasing reliance on ethanol and subsidize it (masking its true costs and subverting the efficient operation of the free market) are a big problem leading to, among other bad consequences, a spike in food prices.

A doubling of the price of (for instance) corn is hard to bear for low-income working people who already pay 30% or more of their wages on food.

87 posted on 05/02/2008 9:30:57 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Point of information.)
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